USA coach Klinsmann unhappy with choice of referee

Jurgen Klinsmann USA

Jurgen Klinsmann explains why he is not happy with the appointment of Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi.

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has criticised the appointment of referee Djamel Haimoudi for his side's World Cup Round-of-16 match against Belgium.

Algeria, Haimoudi's native country, were in the same group as Belgium in this year's tournament, and were also knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by a last-minute USA goal.

Klinsmann believes these factors could influence the referee's decision-making in the upcoming last-16 clash.

"Is it a good feeling? No. Because he's coming from the same group with Belgium and Algeria," the coach said.

"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 in the last World Cup."

Klinsmann added: "I understand for FIFA it's difficult to choose the right referees for the right games. But we give it absolutely the benefit of the doubt and we respect the decision."

Haimoudi has officiated two games so far in this tournament. He took charge of the Netherlands' pulsating 3-2 victory over Australia, as well as the 0-0 draw between England and Costa Rica.

It is clear that Klinsmann hopes that Haimoudi's nationality will come into play in his side's clash with Belgium. There are perhaps some mind games going on here as he looks to influence the referee's thinking and swing the balance in the USA's favour.

Klinsmann's men will face a tough test no matter who the referee is. Belgium, tipped by many as dark horses prior to this competition, have been slightly underwhelming so far but notched three wins in the group stage.

The USA coach says that his side recognises the strength of the opposition, but he feels they are well-prepared going into the clash.

"We knew that we were going to face these types of teams and I think that so far we have done a good job," he said.

"They were first in their group, they went through their group with three wins and that is why we respect them. But I think we have a good plan to go into the game."

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