Euro 2012 and World Cup incidents make Tottenham referee one to watch

Carlos Velasco Carballo drew criticism for his performance in the Euro 2012 tournament opener between Poland and Greece and is taking charge against Fiorentina.

Carlos Velasco Carballo has been an official in the Spanish Primera Division for over a decade, but Mauricio Pochettino may nevertheless be a little apprehensive about his appointment as referee for the first leg of Tottenham’s Europa League tie with Fiorentina.

The 43-year-old has taken charge of UEFA matches since 2009, yet it is his recent performances in several showpiece international fixtures that warrant some concern.

Back in 2012, Carballo was one of 12 referees picked to officiate Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine with the Spaniard taking charge of the tournament opener between co-hosts Poland and 2004 winners Greece.

He was criticised for what many viewed as a card-happy performance that featured a red card for either side as well as a further two yellows.

The first dismissal was arguably the more contentious with Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow in the initial period of the game.

Carballo was in the firing line two years later at the World Cup in Brazil, with the referee appearing to take a near-opposite tact to the one adopted in Euro 2012 with just four yellow cards brandished in a particularly ill-tempered quarter-final between the hosts and Colombia.

Luis Felipe Scolari was left livid with the match officials for failing to protect his players and in particular Neymar who suffered a tournament-ending injury at the hands of Juan Camillo Zuniga that went unpunished.

Thiago Silva was also harshly booked for a bit of time-wasting to leave Brazil severely depleted ahead of their semi-final meeting with Germany – a game they lost a record 7-1.

Carballo, meanwhile, comes into the game on a run of 39 yellow cards and two reds in his last five outings as a referee in La Liga.

All of a sudden, Tottenham fans may be feeling more than just a little apprehensive about facing Fiorentina.

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