FIFA looking into Costa Rica’s protest of snow-covered World Cup qualifier vs. USMNT (UPDATED)

Clint Dempsey


The Costa Rican Soccer Federation’s protesting of last Friday’s World Cup qualifying loss to the United States on the grounds of the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park being unplayable due to the heavy snow that fell that night is being looked into by FIFA.

Costa Rica complained that the “physical integrity” of players and officials  had been affected and that “ball movement became impossible”. Costa Rica also complained about the visibility of field markings. The protest also pointed out that a recent match between Northern Ireland and Russia in Belfast was postponed due to snow.

”FIFA will now analyze the content of the letter and next steps will be determined in due course,” FIFA said in a statement issued on Monday.

It remains unclear whether Costa Rica’s protest even meets the specific requirements laid out by FIFA for a protest to be official. Among the requirements are a protest being filed immediately by the team’s captain to the referee after the match in the presence of the opposing team’s captain. Costa Rica would also have had to file a written protest with the CONCACAF match coordinator within two hours of the end of the match, as well as to FIFA within 24 hours.

(UPDATED- In Monday’s press conference in Mexico City, U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said that no protest was made by Costa Rica’s captain during the match.)

Initial thoughts on Costa Rica’s protest: by all accounts there it sounds highly unlikely they met all the requirements for a protest, starting with their team captain needing to protest to the referee during the match in the presence of the U.S. captain (Clint Dempsey).  Now that Dempsey has revealed that no such protest was filed, it seems extremely unlikely FIFA would seriously consider replaying the game.

As much as FIFA can be questioned about a lot of things I doubt very highly FIFA would erase last Friday’s result and order a replay given the likely incomplete nature of Costa Rica’s protest.

What do you think of this development? Worried the game will have to be replayed? Think Costa Rica’s protest has any merit?

Share your thoughts below.

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166 Responses to FIFA looking into Costa Rica’s protest of snow-covered World Cup qualifier vs. USMNT (UPDATED)

  1. ChiTown says:

    Their captain did not file an official protest during the match with our captain present. Full stop.

    We’re done here.

    • Seriously? says:

      That’s the one question I have yet to see answered, were the Costa Rican players pleading with the ref to keep playing when he “paused” the match, or where they saying they wanted to stop, the captain putting in the official protest? It appeared that they wanted to keep playing, and if so, then they have no case, they’re just trying to play both sides, take a calculated risk in the game that they would get a result, as at the time they were playing better, and then run home to mom and dad after it doesn’t go their way, hoping someone can fix it for them.

      • ChiTown says:

        Pleading to end the match is one thing.

        Filing an official protest during the match requires that you declare that and the referee must oblige and take note. We can discuss all day long whether or not they wanted the match to continue, but we all saw with our eyes that in no way, shape or form did the Costa Rica captain and Clint Dempsey get together with the official and write out the official protest.

        It simply did not happen.

        • Mason says:

          Yep. If they filed it, it’s in the match report. If they didn’t, they haven’t got a frostbitten leg to stand on.

        • Seriously? says:

          I don’t think the in match protest needs to be in writing, that’s after the match. As for whether or not he protested in front of Dempsey, that to me is of lesser importance, because I could see it being argued that they didn’t know the protest had to happen in front of the other captain or something, that’s a minor technicality imo. Plus, it’s also possible that something was set in front of the captains, that wasn’t caught on camera, as I’m quite sure nobody in the studio would have known to watch for that.

          I just want to know if any of them protested at all at that point. On TV, it didn’t look like they wanted to stop when the ref seemed like he was about to.

          • ChiTown says:

            Ignorance of the law does not a defense make.

            • Seriously? says:

              Ok, I got it, thanks. Just so you know, I’m not trying to get into a legal discussion, nor do I want to discuss whether or not FIFA even cares about following their “laws” to the letter, as I think we all know the answer to that. I understand that you don’t think they have a leg to stand on, I’m not even saying I disagree, and I understand you also don’t care one bit what they were saying when they were talking to the ref when play was stopped. I’m just curious, and would just like to know what they were saying. I’m sorry if that bothers you on some level.

              • ChiTown says:

                That’s fair.

              • Brett says:

                He’s just responding to your dismissal of the ‘minor technicality’… Appeals are lost all the time because of these types of technicalities. There are procedures in place for a reason.

              • Seriously? says:

                uh, again, thank you for explaining to me basic legal matters that everybody knows, including myself. As I said a couple of times, I was just trying to get confirmation that what it appeared was happening on TV was actually what happened: that the CR players were saying wanted to keep playing when the ref stopped the game briefly in the second half. I saw someone down below saying the CR coach admitted after the game that he had told the ref wanted to keep playing when the ref stopped the game, which I hadn’t heard before. Also, I don’t know that it’s possible, but I would love to know what’s in the ref’s official report, which obviously matters far more than what we might have seen and perceived watching the game on TV. As I alluded to, discussing how legal system properly works is immaterial, we’re talking about a FIFA system.

          • Mike says:

            Costa Rica was attacking hard when the ref stopped it. After he restarts it I’m pretty sure one of the Costa Ricans actually claps when he takes off. If they tie or win, they don’t care but since they didn’t of course they’ll protest.

            • Dave says:

              One Costa Rican player pleased to play on does not equal a team in favor of playing on. It doesn’t even mean he was in favor of playing on. What about an attempt to rally the troops to make the best of a bad situation? What do you expect? Him to slump away like Charlie Brown?

              More relevantly, one gung-ho, gut-it-out player does not indicate a captain and manager in favor of further play.

    • downintexas says:

      All depends on how much the Costa Rican Soccer Federation “donates” to FIFA.

  2. Aaron Flynn says:

    I think you pointed out rather well on why this won’t be overturned. If you’re going to do something, do it right. FIFA will overlook it.

    • William the Terror says:

      Right. Is this the same FIFA that is riddled with corruption? Is this the same FIFA that thumbed their nose at our last World Cup organizing bid and then criticized us for essentially being over privileged whiners when Qatar got the bid?

      If there is one thing we should have all learned by now it is this: the written rules matter very little to FIFA.

      I have every expectation of us taking one in the tradesman’s entrance on this protest.

      • steveo says:

        Costa Rica fed: “here’s $10,000″
        FIFA: “cold, so cold, freezking cold”
        “getting warmer”
        “OK, replay the game and you get 2026 World Cup”

  3. Jason B says:

    The conditions were the same for both teams. If the protest holds up, then the US should protest Mexico because of pollution/altitude, costa rica, honduras, panama, jamaica because of crappy fields. You lost Costa Rica get over it.

    • Bellus Ludas says:

      +1 Well said! If Costa Rica gets their way FIFA will open a real can of worms. Seems I remember some SA teams protesting games at altitude in Bolivia???

      • Helium-3 says:

        If CR had scored an equalizer, do you think this complaint would have been filed? Sore losers.

    • Josh D says:

      CR and Jamaica have quite nice fields to be fair.

      All I know is we’ve set ourselves up for an extremely tough away game. Their fans, media, and players will all be revved up to face the “cheating” Americans.

      • Mason says:

        Were you expecting an easy match away to CR, anyway? They’re always tough at home.

      • Kevin_Amold says:

        The carpet Costa Rica used to play on at Saprissa wasn’t that nice, but I hear their new stadium is pretty good.

      • USAmr says:

        Saprissa in CR a nice field? I don’t think that hard concrete covered by thin turf, that has in past games shown seams and rips in places, be considered a nice field. Costa Rica may have nice grass fields, they just choose to use Saprissa for qualifiers.

        Jamaica, when we were there last, chose to use a narrow cricket field, with holes, dirt patches and long patches of grass in other places. Again, they may have better fields, but there is a reason they do not use them when we come to town.

        To be fair, they abuse their homefield advantage. We chose Denver for altitude training purposes. The weather was out of our control.

      • Byrdmanhsv10 says:

        Saprissa is not a nice field

    • CplDaniel says:

      Costa Rican coach never saw the recent video from the flooded asian match, with a truck in the background pumping water off the field and the referee forcing a player to retake a set-piece from the corner after the player placed the ball in a spot of grass where it wouldn’t float away.

      Come on Costa Rica, when’s the last time you won a WC qualification match in the USA??

  4. Eric says:

    This doesn’t even bring up the point that the referee asked all players involved in the match if they wanted to continue and they all agreed, all captured on camera.

    • Raymon says:


    • DC Josh says:

      Did the ref stop the match to be postponed or did he stop it so the lines could be cleared? I have not heard a definitive answer. If he stopped it to clear the lines, then I can see how Costa Rica would have protested. Either way, both teams played 90 minutes, and yes the snow had an effect on the game, but it is not like Costa Rica was not close to coming away with at least one point.

      • Mason says:

        Even if he stopped it to clear the lines, there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as he felt the field was safe and he could adequately apply the LOTG, he could allow the game to proceed. A slight pause to clear the lines is well within his rights, as is allowing team officials onto the field to clear during stoppages. Unplayable isn’t a reason to postpone. Unsafe is. A field may not be playable, but it might be perfectly safe.

  5. Bellus Ludas says:

    I was at the match. Not far into the second half it appeared that the referee would stop the match. Everyone protested…US players, Costa Rican players…and of course fans…EVERYONE. If Costa Rica had gotten a result no way would they be protesting. That said if there is a replay…it must be in Denver and Costa Rica will feel very, very unwelcome.

  6. Mason says:

    “What do you think of this development? Worried the game will have to be replayed? Think Costa Rica’s protest has any merit?”

    Nothing. No. No.

  7. Sean says:

    It was also pretty obvious that Costa Rican players were asking the ref not to stop the game when there was that brief pause.

    • G.Bean says:

      Just curious, how was it obvious? The reports from the field reporters during the match say that Costa Rica was asking for the match to be stopped.

      • Mason says:

        Which means diddly. If the ref wanted to play, felt the field was safe, and felt he could see the lines, then the game was going to be played. That pause was basically to ask if the lines could be kept clear.

  8. JR says:

    I’m getting scared with Fifa we never know. I hope they make us know the decision quick so we can move on

  9. James says:

    I’m guessing this is more of just stating their objection, and being able to show their fans that they “tried to fight it”. I doubt they expect a replay (as noted by asking for officials to be suspended)

  10. Falls City Outlaw says:

    It’s gamesmanship, plain and simple. The result will not be overturned but the Ticos are trying to save face.

    • Telemachus says:

      Well said, totally agree.

      Some of the discussion here is so inane I can barely stand it. People talking about CR bribing FIFA, etc. The first requirement for a protest, for god’s sakes, is for the captain to lodge the complaint with the match official, in front of the other captain. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN, at least according to Deuce, and you know what, I believe him. In a procedural matter when you don’t meet the first requirement of the procedure, that’s it, you’re done. End of story.

      FIFA may have some inadequacies but they’re not going to revoke their own processes for the sake of Costa Rica. A replay is not going to be granted. I will put money on it for anyone who wants to bet me. But you have to promise one thing: you have to pay up if you lose.

  11. squirt-lover says:

    It will come down to how much money Costa Rica can pony up, like Qatar did.

    • Helium-3 says:

      CR has no money, even for their new stadium, which was funded by the Chinese government. Hope we play there instead of the Saprissa turf stadium.

      • squirt-lover says:

        Tongue in cheek, dude…Costa Rica is a third world nation without oil.

      • AdamFromMich says:

        Ha! After Friday’s game CR will schedule us to play at Saprissa. And they’ll run a snow plow across the turf a few times before the game, just to make sure it’s as “playable” as ever.

  12. Kevin Holak says:

    I think it’s a disgrace for Costa Rica to want to protest the game. Both teams had to face the elements of the snow, no one is in control of mother nature. When the game was stopped early into the second half, both teams did agree to continue playing, which shuts down their argument since the ref had consent to continue.

    The most disturbing part about this is that FIFA is even thinking about a “rematch”. This is what home field advantage is all about, When the opposition can’t breathe in the high elevation/highly polluted city limits of “La Azteca”, games aren’t cancelled. When it’s 105*F in San Pedro Sula, and fans are passing out before the game even starts, games aren’t cancelled. So why should this game be overturned or replayed just because some of them have never seen or played in snow before. With this protest, the only thing being affected is the integrity of the principles of home-field advantage, and if this game does get nullified, then I would be okay with the USMNT protesting against competing for the World Cup 2014.

  13. DCFAN says:

    This is FIFA we are talking about. I would not be surprised if they did replay it. They never seem to do the US any favors, and in this case it would be taking away a just result similar to the goals that were taken away in the last World Cup.

    • kmac014 says:

      The US is in the same time zones as brazil, they need us in for viewers, the world cup will be on primetime in the US. They will do everything they can to make sure we qualify

  14. Geor says:

    Never assume anything when we are talking about Fifa!

  15. DUDEEROO says:

    How about the US FINALLY moving soccer to the Euro calendar? I mean come on. Playing in snow ain’t no big thing.

  16. Old School says:

    So, when do we get to protest: smog, altitude, bags of urine being thrown at players, plastic turf and 90%+ humidity?

  17. miller says:

    I would take Costa Ricans’ objections more seriously if they did not make the US play on artificial turf.

  18. CorkSoccer says:

    …but I never trust FIFA…if they can screw us, they will…

  19. JR says:

    The Costa Rica Football Federation (Fedefutbol) also demanded sanctions for “all the officials who were involved in the decision to keep playing this game.”

    Source: Reuters

  20. NewtonH says:

    For years during WC qualification, the USMNT had to play on the bumpy AstroTurf field at Costa Rica’s Saprissa Stadium. I think the US could have made the same argument back then that the “physical integrity of players and officials was affected and ball movement [was] impossible.” It’s about time they get a taste of their own medicine.

    • drew11 says:

      So play the winter qualies in Seattle or Portland. The conditions for this match were a pathetic joke. Are we that weak as a soccer nation that we have to schedule these hex games in areas with a very strong possibility of snow? March game, Rocky Mountains, what possibly could go wrong! What if the ref had called the match? This could easily have back fired on the US big time.

      • Mike says:

        They said they picked Colorado for the altitude of the stadium. This way come Tuesdays match in Mexico, they are a little more adjusted to what that they will play in.

        Not because they wanted it to snow.

      • Lost in Space says:

        The intent of scheduling the game in Denver was not to have a pssibility of Snow…but Rather to give our players a chance to train/play at Altitude in preperation for the next game played in Mexico City.

      • Mason says:

        Denver in march does not have a strong possibily of snow. If we wanted that, SLC would have been better.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Yeah, it actually doesn’t snow in Denver nearly as often as people think. Like Gulati said, if they wanted it to snow, there are plenty of other places that they could have scheduled it.

  21. Iggy says:

    The CR coach himself admitted that they wanted to keep going in the game because they felt they were in it. This was in his post game press conference. That quote alone should be enough to dismiss the whole thing…

    you can’t want to stay in the game when you feel you have a chance at a result, then call foul when you don’t manage to get a draw.

  22. Travis says:

    Overruling the result of this game would open up a huge can of worms. I have played in the snow and let me say that in no way does it affect your “physical integrity” more than playing in 100+ degree weather conditions. If they were to win this what is to stop us from protesting every time a team makes us play at noon in the middle of summer to make it as hot as possible? Get over it, you lost move on.

  23. ChiTown says:

    If this by some wild stretch of crazy actually goes through–it needs to be on. We need to protest every single possible match we play in Central America.

    Pitch grass too high? Protest.
    One battery flies at the players? Protest.
    Turf bubbling up? Protest.
    Too much altitude? Protest.
    Too much pollution? Protest.
    Regular awful calls? Protest.
    Tropical storm weather? Protest.
    107 degrees? Protest.

    We could legitimately file a protest in every single match.

  24. Brain Guy says:

    Costa Rica failed to meet the procedural requirements for a protest. When the referee briefly halted the match, their players appeared to insist that the game be continued. The conditions were bad, but equally bad for both teams. And no worse than the ridiculous conditions (bumpy turf, quagmire at the A&B game, bags of urine, batteries, coins, cups of vomit) the US has always had to endure on the road in CONCACAF. Replaying the game would make absolutely no sense.

    Which is exactly why I’m worried FIFA will do something crazy.

  25. Vinz Clortho says:

    I agree with others above. Any positive result in CR’s favor would have meant no complaint…Score first next time….

  26. Felix says:

    My thoughts:
    1) If Costa Rica would have tied or won the match – this wouldn’t have come up.
    2) Despite the fact that they did not meet the requirements to be able to officially protest the result, I wouldn’t be surprised by any decision made by FIFA. I remember leading up to the ’06 WC, The 1st leg of the 5th Place WCQ qualifying match was replayed between Bahrain and Uzbekistan after some error by the referee. So replaying major matches isn’t unprecedented.
    3) I have yet to hear anything whether the Costa Rican players were asking to stop the match or not during that pause, even though I doubt the referee would have continued based on US players and coaches prodding him only.

    • drew11 says:

      Yeah, I can see FIFA being PO’d that USSF is pushing the envelope here. March game in Denver is ridiculous when there are other options like the PNW that would have created a favorable home field advantage. The US played CR in a key Hex game in Portland in 1997 without issue. Denver in March was totally unnecessary and FIFA won’t be happy.

      • Jonathon says:

        Oh, come on. First, USSF has come out and said that the main reason for playing in Denver was the high altitude to prepare for Mexico City. Second, a storm like that is rare for Denver. If they played the game last week, the temperature at kickoff would have been in the upper 40s / low 50s. Last year on March 22nd, the high in Denver was in the mid-to-upper 60s. And most snow storms in Denver don’t drop that much snow. Third, if Denver in March is unnecessary, what do you call San Pedro Sula at 3 PM, where the temperature is 110+ on the field with 90% humidity and fans are getting carried out of the stadium on stretchers due to heat exhaustion? I’d much rather play in Denver’s conditions than in Honduras’s conditions.

        • Joe Dirt says:

          If Denver in late March is a problem, I guess Canada is pretty much screwed if they ever make a Hex again. Northern Territory in June baby

      • ChiTown says:

        You have no idea what you’re yelling about.

        Average temperature in Denver this time of the year is in the 50s, and it is the closest altitude we have to acclimating for Mexico tomorrow.

        • drew11 says:

          If bad weather is so rare in Denver, why is this is the 2nd game THIS MONTH that was snowed out in Denver?

          This was clearly gamesmanship on the part of USSF and we are just lucky CR did not walk.

          • ChiTown says:

            You’re not a USMNT fan–quit trying to pretend you are. It’s a failed charade.

            We play Mexico tomorrow and altitude acclimation requires days to be able to breathe effectively.

          • Kosh says:

            Because stuff happens, dude. Come off it and get over this notion of yours that the US turned on the nuclear snowmaker to beat CR in a WCQ. I had no idea that USSoccer had so much power and better yet – that the US govt. cares that muc about WCQ.

            They went to Denver to prep for Mexico. It’s as simple as that. It sucked that a storm hit but guess what BOTH teams opted to play in it and BOTH did. It’s not like our guys play in that stuff 24-7.

            Don;t worry – your CR team should be in the fight, it’s still a tough hex.

            • drew11 says:

              Wrong. They could have trained at altitude and played in Portland also. Two separate snow outs in a month shows this is totally normal weather for region.

              I am a big USMNT fan and made the trip to Azteca in 2001.

              But my BS detector is off the hook on this one. USSF went overboard looking for cold weather Hex game sites. Time to call a spade a spade.

              • ChiTown says:

                Um, that’s not how altitude training works.

                You can’t train at altitude at come down from it. You’d get horribly sick.

                Portland – 50 ft elevation
                Denver – 5280 ft elevation
                Azteca – 7,900 ft elevation

                It takes days to acclimate and if you come down you get sick too.

              • Kosh says:

                Tickle me surprised that you’re a USMNT fan…oh I jest.

                But in all seriousness we did go up there for the weather – the cold that is. Why do you think we play Mexico in Ohio in the fall or winter? Evereyone does it. Heck, on the away leg we will be playing in Sapprissa. I wonder what you think about that.

                I get the weather argument but to hear the way you put it you make it sound like US Soccer made it snow too – which they most certainly didn’t. Plus BOTH teams played in it. You cannot say we had an edge in those conditions…well you can, and that’s what you’re insinuating but it doesn’t make you or you BS detector right.

              • Bob says:

                2 data points show nothing by themselves, especially when years of historical data show otherwise. Stop trying to act like you’re being logical.

          • Al Gore says:

            Obviously it’s because of Global Warming!

            I’m super cereal.

      • Falsify says:


        Your numerous posts seem to indicate that the USSF is at fault for somehow controlling the weather. The only blame to give is to the referee (if any) who decides whether the match goes on or not. Also, Costa Rica did not even care enough to do a correct procedural protest. Plenty of outdoor sports play with conditions like this, such as American football and football/soccer in North America, Europe, Russia. So really, your argument that USSF is somehow at fault or ‘going low’ by scheduling March in Denver is farcical. They wanted it to be cold and they wanted it to be altitude. Nobody asked for a blizzard. Last year this time of year, Colorado was in the 70’s.

    • Jonathon says:

      The replay of the Bahrain – Uzbekistan game was due to the referee misapplying the laws. Uzbekistan had a penalty kick, which was converted, but called back due to a player encroaching. Instead of retaking the penalty kick, which is the rule, the referee gave Bahrain an indirect free kick.

      For the US – Costa Rica, no rules were misapplied. The FIFA match coordinator gave the okay to start the match. After that, it’s up to the referee, and unless FIFA wants to say that the referee’s opinion was wrong, there’s no reason for FIFA to overturn the result (aside from FIFA incompetence and corruption, of course).

  27. Redneck says:

    All of this seems like Costa Rican sour grapes to me, but I wonder how much our (that is, supporters of US soccer) perceptions of things are colored by the commentary of the ESPN announcers. They were clearly speculating about why the ref stopped match and what caused him to restart it. They had no idea what folks are the field were saying or, really, exactly what was happening. Everything seemed really chaotic when the ref stopped the match–how can we be so assured of our own perceptions or of the truth/validity of what we were told by the ESPN announcers?

    Even so, I hope Costa Rica’s appeal is denied. Though passing was obviously difficult, the players didn’t seem to be slipping and sliding too much. I doubt that the players were in danger due to the conditions.

    • Mason says:

      It seemed to me that he paused the match in order to get the lines cleared and have a chat with the match commissioner and stadium officials. After that, the grounds crew was much more aggressive in their work.

      My speculation…

    • Modibo says:

      For what it’s worth, I was in a bar with no sound on the TV, and all the gestures and body language I saw of the CR players seemed to indicate that they wished to continue the match – Klinsi’s gesture indicating that the snow wasn’t 8 inches deep was a little bit more precise, but did the CR players refuse to go back on the field? Did their coach intervene and try to prevent them from returning to play? Did they angrily surround the referee and try to intimidate him into stopping the match?
      No, no, and no. No did they do any of the other belligerent things you would expect. And you don’t need ESPN announcers to interpret those kinds of body language for you. Anyone who’s watched recent games in just about any league can tell you what the standard petulant gestures and behaviors are for aggressive and players who feel aggrieved by the referee. The play-acting is not so subtle that it requires a semiotician to interpret.

      • Smokeminside says:

        Semiotician? That’s a perfect example of why I read this site everyday. My MA in English doesn’t go to waste. Thank you! May the trope be with you.

  28. Kev says:

    Watching the whole game, I thought the ball moved considerably well. I actually thought that it was moving on the ground better than most crappy Central American fields such as Saprissa on a sunny day.
    And the player footing seemed decent, I don’t recall seeing much slippage, nothing out of the usual for wet conditions.

    Visibility must have sucked. But I didn’t see any untimed headers. Guzan mistimed a punch out but that was the only thing I saw.

    Conditions were what they were, wasnt pretty. All part of the crazy game. Deal with it.

    Credit to that field – did well under those extreme circumstances.

    • Mason says:

      Seriously. The ball never crossed a touch or goal line and stayed in play. Offside calls were made properly.

      About the only difference was there was a lot less hysterical rolling around on the ground.

      • Kev says:

        Good call and you know what, we still got screwed on a few calls including the should have been pk! So it was business as usual.

      • Nate says:

        There was one dangerous cross by CR from just past the end line that wasn’t called out. The ball basically came over the goal from behind! It didn’t amount to anything but there was a CR player there who couldn’t connect. I think it was on the far side of the field from the lineman. Could’ve been a nightmare for the US…

    • ChiTown says:

      That’s the funny part in all of this. The ball moved better than it does in their home stadium at 78 degrees and sunny skies.

  29. AcidBurn says:

    If this goes through, you can bet the US will find a “rip” in the turf at Saprissa and file an official protest that the field there is unplayable, forcing a replay of that game in Estadio Nacional.

    (only if the US loses at Saprissa, wink wink.)

    • Felix says:

      I thought Costa Rica built a new national stadium and don’t play in Saprissa anymore?

      • AcidBurn says:

        They don’t play in Saprissa anymore, except when the US comes to town. (I believe most of their qualifiers are at Nacional but CR has already said that they will put the US match – and maybe others – Mexico perhaps?) in Saprissa.

        Yeah, they have a BRAND NEW stadium and instead the US has to play on concrete in Saprissa.

  30. ThaDeuce says:

    I don’t mind beating them again!

  31. LUIS MORA says:

    Don´t worry. FIFA has so much interest on US SOCCER. The game will not be replayed because COSTA RICA is not so strong as USA, even Costa Rica plays better. It was first, A WAR. On paper, but a war. And USA won. They won because the Costarican Federation is not so strong. Not so imoprtant a little country with just 4.0 millions of people. What is best for FIFA? CR or USA? Wich country can generate more money to FIFA? SO, FIFA IS HELPING WICH TEAM?
    It is important that Costa Rica is better team than USA? Who cares? FIFA doesn´t care… FIFA needs the USA support.

    • Nate says:

      I think that USA beat COSTA RICA because they scored MORE GOALS.

    • ChiTown says:

      Look, one of the Costa Ricans that was spamming the US Soccer Facebook page with hate.

      You lost. How dare you come on our sites and criticize some snow when we played on a freaking felt concrete parking lot for decades.

      Get lost.

    • Kamphgruppe says:

      Costa Rica is in no way better than the US. Your lucky there was snow or we may have beaten you worse.

    • Mason says:

      Costa Rica does not play better. They came out in a 5-4-1 with the intent of slowing down the US attack and stealing an away point. Even with an assist from they weather, they failed at that.

      Give it a rest.

    • Chupacabra says:

      The last time Costa Rica beat the US in the US in meaningful competition (not counting friendlies) was May 31, 1985. History and facts do not support your argument.

  32. Pingback: Costa Rica Is Officially Protesting Its World Cup Qualifier Against The US Because It Was Snowing | Business Insider Australia

  33. Chris says:

    I almost want there to be a replay in Denver just so Costa Rica can be booed mercilessly and the US can beat them 3-0 to shut up the morons who said “with now snow we definitely would have won the game.”

  34. ex_sweeper says:

    Did you notice that the U.S. player who took the lead in urging the ref to keep playing was Michael Bradley? Unless my memory is off, Captain Clint Dempsey was nowhere to be found in that discussion.

    • Old School says:

      Wow. Some ground breaking investigative research there.

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • Falsify says:

      If Clint Dempsey was around for that discussion with the other Costa Rican Captain then Costa Rica could be filing a LEGIT complaint to fifa however both captains never discussed the conditions with the ref at the same time so its likely they will not get an official appeal acceptance.

  35. AcidBurn says:

    “They’re not playing conditions for playing soccer on. I would love to play in a field where the field was good.” – CR goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

    So a good field is that concrete turf in Saprissa? I smell those sour grapes from here, and they stink.

    Sore losers.

  36. Sno Fro says:

    The problem with FIFA/CONCACAF is that there are no standards. If snow is a problem, FIFA should mandate that no games will be played in snow under any circumstance. Honestly, FIFA loves the controversy of bad fields, terrible refs, goal line technology, ect. Leaving the decision up to game officials will always cause controversy, but a clearly written policy would not. CR should have protested before the game started.

  37. Brian says:

    In a snowstorm, the gestures for “Look at this pitch, it’s totally playable” and “Look at this pitch, you can’t see the lines” would be hard to differentiate. The simple fact is we don’t know who was saying what. If you want to dispute a replay, do it on the merits of the case, not on Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman’s lip-reading skills in a blizzard.

    I want the 3 points as much as the next guy but think it is unfortunate how the whole thing played out. If I were the official, I would have stopped the game as I don’t think they were able to keep the lines visible at all times. That said, the game is in the books and Costa Rica can’t point to any specific instances where the conditions potentially influenced the outcome of the game so CR will lose the appeal.

    • Mason says:

      Frankly, the gestures of the players don’t matter. If the referee and his ARs couldn’t see the lines, he would have abandoned the match. Since he didn’t there’s no reason to think that the match should have been abandoned.

      • Brian says:

        My point exactly. People should stop citing them and unheard sideline onversations as reasons for the game to have continued.

        As for your second point, technically I think you are correct and this is why the appeal will be denied…but at the same time I don’t think the ref was making his decision based on that single factor.

    • Modibo says:

      Sure, but what about the gesture for “I’m taking that ball out of your hands and not letting you put it back in play,” or “we’re going to form a mob around you and loudly protest until we get our way,” or “look, our coach and assistants are physically pulling us off the field?”

      Did we see any of those? No.

      Are they every used? Oh, absolutely. Soccer is nothing without over-the-top histrionics from wanna-be actors whose daily practice in stagecraft may be inching the profession towards Broadway by the day.

      Seriously, no one was particularly upset when the game went on. Players, coaches, assistants – they know how to wildly gesture when they are not happy with something. Didn’t happen here.

  38. Truthiness says:

    If the situation had been reversed, I’m sure we’d be calling for a replay – I’m just say’n

    • Raymon says:

      You mean if we played and lost a snowy game in Costa Rica?

    • Old School says:

      US fans? Perhaps, but fans are always fickle and whiny.

      The US players? You’re out of your damn mind.

      Not a single player would have came out said: “On a regular pitch, in normal conditions, we would have beaten them.”

      You know how I know this to be true? THAT’S NEVER SAID even after every away game played in one of the following elements; 90% humidity, smog ridden air at altitude, bags of urine or cups of vomit being thrown or on a joke of a plastic turf.

      I think it’s poor leadership on the account of the Costa Rican manager to protest this match. It shows a defeatist attitude with a lot more qualifying to come.

      • Brian says:

        Sportsmanship vs gamesmanship.

        Overwhelmingly, people favor gamesmanship.

        If it was about sportsmanship, the Costa Rican manager would be saying “We both played on the same pitch, so it is fair result” while the US side would be saying “We’ll replay the match because the conditions prevented the match from played in a manner consistent with the essence of a sport.”

        • Old School says:

          I’m sorry if I didn’t understand your post correctly.

          The US owes nothing to the Costa Rican team. They didn’t make the decision and played on the same pitch.

          That has nothing to do with the sportsmanship of the US.

  39. David M says:

    The Russia – Northern Ireland analogy is completely flawed since that game never even started. The pitch was deemed unplayable hours before the game. In Denver, the pitch was deemed playable by the officials. The protest is completely without merit.

    Here is the scenario I actually would love to see.

    1. FIFA orders the game replayed.
    2. USA wins 3-0.
    3. At the end of the qualifying, Costa Rica is in 5th place, level on points with a 4th place team, but with a worse, by one, goal difference.

    • Kevin_Amold says:

      And with Jonathan Bornstein coming out of international exile to bury the Ticos yet again…..

  40. RB says:

    I was sitting in the 4th row right behind the AR when called the center ref over before the stoppage of play and the discussion that then took place. It looked like he had seen or heard something and perhaps someone was going to be penalized. That was the only thing it could have been until we realized that no one did anything wrong and he had to have been talking about line visibility. It’s the only thing that could have started that whole talk, as the ball had just gone out and the subsequent throw was being set up.

    One thing I will say is that after viewing some of the game in TV the following day, it sure seemed worse than it looked in person. Dunno how that may affect any decision now. But I’m with those who say there’s no reasonable argument for rescinding the result and replaying, which knowing FIFA is precisely why we should be worried now.

    • run says:

      I’m certain you are correct that it looked worse on TV. The camera is often high in the stands, up to 100 yards away from the action. The camera is looking through a lot of atmosphere with a lot of snow. The players down on the field are much closer to the ball and have no such problem.

      • RB says:

        Well I wouldn’t have tried to claim they had NO such problems, it’s just that I was really surprised at how bad it all looked on TV as opposed to in person. If if only seen the video and not been there, I would have far more serious doubts about the ability to play the match. And just for example, I also had a hard time seeing the yellow ball well on TV, but did not have such trouble at the match even when I finally had to give up a third of the way through and watch without my glasses on, because of the constantly accumulating snow.

  41. Kyle says:

    I hope that the protest is upheld. We play them again. We beat them 3-0 and they miss out on the final world cup spot on goal differential.

    • beto says:

      HAHA! YES! bring everyone back to denver for that!

      seriously tho they are going to flood Saprissa before the game in September.

  42. Stephen says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this has been mentioned. Costa Rica said “ball movement was impossible” but it seems that the US didn’t have much of a problem knocking the ball around. I know there were some bad passes, but it seems that the ball moved perfectly fine.

  43. Brett says:

    They seemed happy to keep playing when they were knocking on the door for the equalizer.

    Both teams have to play in the same conditions, so there’s no unfairness to speak of. It’s not as if the US held practices in blizzard conditions to prepare for the snow.

  44. LUIS MORA says:

    Hey, I am not against you…I said nothing about the game, or the men that came into the ground to clean the snow in a middle of a game. My opinion is that my country does not desserve the Brazil 14 Cup IF we do not have a good Team. I just said that the complaint will not be heard by FIFA.
    Because FIFA has other interests, not just soccer. It appears that FIFA wants that you go to Brazil, not because you are good team, but just because you are a great country, that helps so much FIFA.
    But Mr. ChiTown, I dont criticized the snow, or the result. Just that the complaint will not be usefull.
    If you desserve the World Cup or not, it does not care, not even FIFA, but you presence there will be very important.
    About ¨your¨ websites, I remember you that all internet is democratic, as your contry and mine.

    • MiamiAl says:

      If that was true, USA would have been awarded to host the World Cup and not Quatar…

    • Old School says:

      “Because FIFA has other interests, not just soccer. It appears that FIFA wants that you go to Brazil, not because you are good team, but just because you are a great country, that helps so much FIFA.”


  45. swifty says:

    I read about the first 50 comments and the only thing I have to add is that none of the players in that game were “used” to those conditions. The USA players gained no advantage playing in the snow because they were not used to it either. Costa Rica is acting as if we’ve played in the snow all of our lives.

  46. Joe+G says:

    We have learned through this that the newer FIFA rules would have required a suspension with the game picked up from that point if the ref had so decided. Knowing that Denver was snowed in all weekend, making an immediate continuation there impossible… what are the rules involved in such a resumption month(s) later? What about injuries that occur in the interim?

    Resuming a couple of days later seems to be one thing, but months later the complexion of the team could be very different. I’m not sure how they can consider it one game without allowing the teams the absolute freedom to substitute the entire lineup and go from there.

  47. AK48 says:

    Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman are the ones that put the notion in our heads that CR was begging to continue the game. It was just a conjecture, and I’m pretty sure they got that 180 degrees wrong.

    By the replay: first the U.S. is up in arms. Klinsi gestures repeatedly that it takes about 8 inches of snow to really impede play. Suddenly, Klinsi and the U.S. are smiling and walking away. Then and only then CR gets all agitated.

    You shouldn’t believe everything the announcers say — especially when Twellman is one of them.

    • swifty says:

      I was watching online in Spanish, which I don’t speak, and it sure looked to me that everyone around the ref wanted to play, CR included.

  48. FakeU says:


    What a whiny country the Ticos have! And I have Costa Rican family members!

    I thought we were crybabies here but the Ticos beat us to it. And LOL at them using Northern Ireland-Russia as an example. Last I checked, NI are pretty much out of the WC race, as they are always, and Russia have a friendly today and not an official match. OF COURSE, they’d reschedule.

    This is a WCQ match. Costa Rica have always been sissies when it comes to treating these matches as such. That Pura Vida crap needs to be thrown out of the door when it comes to qualifiers. Matter of fact, thank the soccer gods that you played in the snow because now you can get the balls to finally know what home-field advantage is. Sure, make us play at Saprissa stadium. Build a new stadium in Guanacaste or schedule a match early in the afternoon like Honduras did! They pulled off 4 points doing it to USA and Mexico. It’s called HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. We didn’t know it’d snow, we played in it too. You have players in Scandivania, England, etc. Clint Dempsey is from Texas, Jozy Altidore is from Florida, Herculez Gomez is from California!

    It’s a good thing you all don’t fly to La Paz, Bolivia to play at 12,000 feet or encounter much worse in Chile, Peru or Argentina. Suck it up. Get your three points vs Jamaica and use your country’s facilities to screw us in any way possible. We won’t cry or run to FIFA about it, I promise you that.

    PURA VIDA!!??? No! En las eliminatorias se juega como hombres!!!!

  49. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I was disappointed during the whole game. The conditions were bad enough. In any other form of entertainment the tickets would be refunded and/or the show postponed. There was no joy in watching the players show what they can do, and the ball was nearly invisible on the TV screen. What’s next. Play a game in a sand lot? The conditions in the snow were worse than that. Any World Cup Qualifier should at least give a result that makes you believe that one team was better than the other. That was not the case here.

    • JR says:

      This is a WCQ. No one cares if you play pretty or if your team has 80% possesion of the ball. You have to win

    • RB says:

      “There was no joy in watching the players show what they can do…”


      I was there and I can tell you that I was FAR from the only person in that crowd of almost 20,000 people who repeatedly found joy in watching the players show what they could do under such difficult circumstances. One can read comments all over the Internet to the same effect, from those who were there. That and your related comments regarding the supposed necessity of refunding ticket money, etc, are just wholly of base, I’m afraid.

  50. dikranovich says:

    lets go get three points in azteca people.

  51. Kojo says:

    If Costa Rica truly wanted to protest this game they had ample opportunity to do so during halftime. There is no mention that Costa Rica complained about field conditions at this time. Also the Costa Rican Federation did not file their written complaint to FIFA until 24 hrs after the end of the game. My understanding is that they have to file a formal written complaint within 24 hours of the end of the game. So they have failed to comply on two complaints one with the captains in the presence of the ref and the formal written complaint to FIFA within 24 hours of the game. If this is replayed then everyone around the world has a valid complaint against playing at high altitude and/or playing in excessive heat and humidity.

  52. ACS says:

    I don’t know why they would want a replay it’d be months from now when we are at full strength + Donovan, and the game will be played in Breckenridge at 9600 feet.