No concern over referee bias for Uruguay v England - Fifa

The assignment of Carlos Velasco Carballo to officiate Thursday's game in Sao Paulo had caused some consternation but the governing body says the Spaniard is free to take charge
Fifa has moved to clarify how World Cup referes are selected after the designation of a Spaniard for England's Group D clash with Uruguay on Thursday.

Carlos Velasco Carballo has been handed the assignment despite previous attempts to ensure that officials come from a neutral confederation.

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But a Fifa spokesperson insists that referees will be considered for selection regardless of their continent of origin.

"Quality is always the first criteria of selection," its head of media, Delia Fischer, confirmed on Tuesday.

"The second criteria is that he is not the refereeing his own team or taking charge of a game in which his national team is playing. Those are the only criteria on the selection of referees."

The issue of refereeing assignment has come under the spotlight since questions were raised over Yuichi Nishimura's selection for the opening game between Brazil and Croatia.

The Japanese awarded a debatable penalty to the host nation before later ruling out a Croatia equaliser, with many believing that he had been handed the game in part due to his neutrality of confederation.

Velasco Caballo has been on the Fifa referees list since 2008 and also featured at Euro 2012, taking charge of the opening fixture between Poland and Greece in which both teams had a man sent off.