Carlos Velasco Carballo, 43, is one of the 25 elite professional soccer referees chosen to oversee games in the 2014 World Cup. The veteran ref has been called “card happy” and could make things interesting when he makes his tournament debut in the Uruguay vs England match.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Referees for the Spanish Soccer League
Carlos Velasco Carballo has been a referee in Spain’s La Liga since 2004. He was made an official FIFA referee in 2008 and has been presiding over important international matches, including 6 Champions League matches last season alone.
2. The English Team Was Warned About Card-Happy Carballo
Speaking to UK’s Express, former English referee Keith Hackett says that he’s warned the English team to “be on your best behavior.” Velasco Carballo is known as a “card happy” ref that isn’t likely to pull any punches.
This official’s card count is liable to be well above average. Unless someone has spoken in his ear the odds are high of us seeing a couple of reds in this game. “England have to be aware he has a very low threshold of tolerance on foul play. He has a knack of changing what should be a ‘careless’ free-kick offence into what he deems as ‘reckless’ and issuing a yellow card. And where you might get a referee hesitating to apply a second yellow card he is only too happy to flash the red. He is usually very consistent in that respect.
3. He Gave Out Two Red Cards in One Game
Velasco Carballo earned a controversial reputation after a 2012 Euro match between Poland and Greece after giving out two red cards in a single game, one to goalkeeper Wojchiech Szczesny, and one to Greek defender Papastathopoulos.
4. He Used to Be an Industrial Engineer
Carballo is a Madrid native and has a history of not taking charge of games where Madrid games play because of his emotional attachment to the city. Before becoming a full-time soccer referee, Velasco Carballo was an industrial engineer in Madrid.
5. He Will Oversee the Elimination Game Between England & Uruguay
In one of the most anxiously awaited games in the World Cup thus far, Velasco Carballo will oversee an elimination game between two fan favorites, England and Uruguay. The game takes place at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday June 19.