FIFA studying Costa Rica protest after World Cup qualifying loss to USA in blizzard conditions
Costa Rica have submitted a letter of protest with FIFA in the wake of their 1-0 loss to the US national team in last Friday's snowy 2014 World Cup qualifier at Dick's Sporting Goods Park outside of Denver. FIFA said it will look into the matter.
''FIFA will now analyze the content of the letter and next steps will be determined in due course,'' FIFA said on Monday in a statement.
On Sunday, the Costa Rican federation declared that the ''physical integrity'' of the match had been impacted, claiming that ''ball movement became impossible'' and field markings were not visible. They have reportedly asked that referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador be punished, as well as the other match officials.
The match was played in near-blizzard conditions, with grounds crewmembers constantly shoveling to clear the field lines and players struggling with their footing and ball control. If Aguilar had determined the situation was unplayable, according to FIFA regulations, the match would have had to be replayed within 48 hours. On the TV broadcast on Friday, the announcers stated that the match would be started from the point that it was stopped; however, the official regulations say the match would be replayed in full.
However, it is unclear whether Costa Rica have complied with the formal procedures for a protest. These procedures include an on-field statement from the captain, who ''shall immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team.'' Following the match, the Costa Rican federation was required to to file written protests with the match coordinator within two hours, and with FIFA's administration by registered letter within 24 hours.
The US won the match thanks to a goal from Clint Dempsey in the 16th minute.