FIFA rejects Costa Rica protest against U.S. win

ZURICH — FIFA has dismissed Costa Rica’s protest against losing 1-0 to the United States in a World Cup qualifying match played in a snowstorm because it was not filed correctly.

“Therefore, the result of the match played on March 22 stands and is considered as valid,” FIFA said Tuesday in a statement.

FIFA referred to a clause in its 2014 World Cup Regulations, which Costa Rica had to fulfill to force a replay of last Friday’s match in Commerce City, Colorado.

The Costa Rica delegation could have complained about the field in writing to match referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador before kickoff.

Team captain Bryan Ruiz was required to “immediately lodge a protest” with the referee if he believed the field became unplayable during the match. Opposing captain Clint Dempsey also needed to be present for the protest.

Protests must also be filed in writing to FIFA’s administration “no later than two hours after the match,” the regulations state.

“FIFA received a letter via email and fax from the Costa Rica FA on March 24 with regards to the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier played on March 22 between USA and Costa Rica,” FIFA said. “The conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met by the Costa Rica FA.”

Costa Rican officials issued a statement Sunday saying the match “went against the sporting spectacle (and) the physical integrity of the officials and players.”

Grounds staff cleared snow during the match to keep play going.

Dempsey scored the only goal in the 16th minute.

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