SALVADOR: United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann has criticised the appointment of an Algerian referee for the World Cup second-round match in the Arena Fonte Nova against Belgium.

Klinsmann claimed the Belgians would be better able to communicate with Djamel Haimoudi, 44, since they both speak French.

His criticisms followed an angry outburst over FIFA’s refereeing appointments strategy by Miguel Herrera, manager of Mexico, after El Tri’s elimination by Holland.

Klinsmann said: “”We hope it’s not a concern. I understand it’s difficult for FIFA to choose the right referees for the right games and it has always been tricky but it is what it is.

“We give it the benefit of the doubt, we respect the decision and hope that everything goes well. We know that already he did two games very well so we hope he continues that tomorrow.”

Haimoudi refereed Australia’s defeat by Holland and Costa Rica’s draw with England

Group winners

The United States scraped through a tough group containing Germany, Portugal and Ghana to make it through to the last 16.

Belgium topped their group with wins over Algeria, Russia and South Korea but Klinsmann remains confident his side can pull off an upset.

He said: “We are very hungry and focused. We have a lot of respect for Belgium but we have no fear at all. We want to go far.

“I am confident that if every player plays to his limits we will have a positive outcome.”