USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t thrilled with FIFA’s decision to assign Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi to his squad’s World Cup Round of 16 game against Belgium on Tuesday.
While speaking to the media Monday, Klinsmann divulged that he was somewhat concerned about Haimoudi working the game, noting the Americans knocked the Algerians out of the 2010 World Cup.
Although Klinsmann added that he has been impressed by Haimoudi’s work during the first two games of the tournament, the German voiced some anxiety about the French-speaking referee’s ability to communicate better with the Belgian team as well.
“We know that he did already two games so far, and he did them very well. So we wish that he continues his refereeing in the perfect way that he’s done so far,” Klinsmann said, via The Washington Post. “Is it a good feeling? No. Because he’s coming from the same group with Belgium, Algeria … He’s able to speak French with their players on the field, not with us. And it’s the country that we beat in the last second at the last World Cup.
“So sometimes I don’t understand FIFA. It’s difficult to choose the right referees for the right games. It’s always been tricky for FIFA. But it is what it is. We give it absolutely the benefit of the doubt, we respect the decision. We’re going to be spot on in the game and hope that everything goes well.”
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