Costa Rica appeal to FIFA following 1-0 defeat to United States on Friday
Costa Rica claim the match should not have taken place due to heavy snowfall
Clint Dempsey's first-half goal gave the U.S. their first win of the qualifying campaign
FIFA confirm they have received letter from the Costa Rica Federation
It’s snow joke – but the weather has become the focus of the United States’ attempts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Costa Rica has asked football’s global governing body FIFA to replay their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against the U.S. after it was staged in a snowstorm.
Friday’s contest at Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park finished 1-0 to Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. team, with Clint Dempsey’s first-half goal proving the difference between the two teams.
But the contest was overshadowed by heavy snowfall, which the Costa Rican Football Federation claims affected the players’ “physical integrity”.
“We can confirm that FIFA has received a letter from the Costa Rica FA regarding last Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier,” read a statement sent to CNN by football’s world governing body.
“FIFA will now analyze the content of the letter and next steps will be determined in due course.”
The Costa Rican Federation is unhappy the lines and markings on the pitch were invisible at times during the game in Commerce City, while also claiming the movement of the ball was impeded by the snow.
The match was briefly paused at the beginning of the second half, but officials eventually decided play should resume.
Costa Rica has also called for the match officials to be punished for allowing the match to get underway.
“It was terrible,” the Costa Rican Federation’s president Eduardo Li told the Zona Tecnica football show. “While the match was being played, at the same time, machines and people came onto the field to clean the lines.
“We fought – we talked to the [match] commissioner, who totally rejected our complaint. These are embarrassing situations we should not accept.”
The win was the U.S.’s first of this qualifying campaign following a 2-1 defeat to Honduras last month.
The victory put the U.S. second on three points behind Honduras in a group from which the top three countries will go to 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.
Snow also wreaked havoc across Europe, with Northern Ireland’s home match with Russia, initially scheduled for Friday, twice postponed due to bad weather.
FIFA is yet to announce when the European qualification Group F fixture will take place.
The U.S. Soccer Federation was not immediately available for comment.