U.S. win stands as Costa Rica appeal blown away

Story highlights

  • FIFA rejects Costa Rica's appeal over 1-0 defeat to United States
  • Costa Rica unhappy with the snowstorm conditions in Colorado
  • The win was the U.S.'s first of the 2014 World Cup qualifying competition
  • Jurgen Klinsmann's team play neighbors Mexico on Tuesday

Costa Rica's appeal against its recent 1-0 defeat by the United States played out in a snowstorm has been blown away by soccer's global governing body FIFA.

The Costa Rican Football Federation complained to FIFA following last week's 2014 World Cup qualifier in Colorado, which was played in blizzard-like conditions.

Costa Rica argued the markings on the pitch were not visible, while also suggesting the snow affected the "physical integrity" of the players and hampered the movement of the ball.

But the protest has been dismissed by FIFA on the grounds that Costa Rica failed to follow official regulations in its protest, meaning the U.S. team's first win of the North and Central American and Caribbean qualification competition is secure.

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"FIFA received a letter via email from the Costa Rica FA on 24 March 2013 with regards to the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier played on 22 March between USA and Costa Rica," said a FIFA statement.

"FIFA has examined the content of the letter and, taking into consideration article 14, paragraph 4 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup regulations, has confirmed that the conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met by the Costa Rica FA.

"Therefore, the result of the match played on 22 March stands and is considered as valid."

The Costa Rican federation had also called for the officials at the match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to be sanctioned.

The win was vital for U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who had come in for criticism following a 2-1 defeat to Honduras last month. The victory lifted the U.S. into second place, behind leaders Honduras.

The U.S. face another huge match on Tuesday against southern neighbors Mexico in Mexico City. The Americans first ever win in Mexico came in a friendly match last August.

The top three countries from the group will qualify directly for next year's tournament in Brazil, while the fourth-placed team will play off against the Oceania group winners New Zealand.

Costa Rica are bottom of the North, Central America and Caribbean group with just one point.

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