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FIFA rejects Costa Rican protest

March 27, 2013 | 3:39 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

FIFA heard Costa Rica’s protest over the conditions at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park during Friday’s World Cup qualifier and rejected the Ticos request.

Soccer’s international governing body dismissed the Ticos complaints over losing 1-0 to the U.S. in a spring blizzard.

In the end, FIFA made the right call. The world body acknowledged the after-the-fact complaint and then rejected it.

It’s a rare day that the murky overlords of soccer can be credited for clarity, but the protest conditions are among the few obviously clear standards in soccer. Team captains have to make their complaint to the game’s center referee while in the presence of the opposing captain.

U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said he heard no such complaint. FIFA’s rejection of the protest would appear to support the idea that no such complaint was made until well after the final whistle.

Exceptional Case: Unlike the case of a bad late call, flares tossed on the field in injury time, bags filled with human waste dumped on players as they leave — all items we have seen in past CONCACAF qualifying matches — the Ticos had plenty of time to file a protest before the first kick.

Snow was dumping on the field. Even with the high-visibility ball, it was going to be tough to see what was going on, much less produce a “beautiful game.” No, it was not ideal, but if you are going to protest, you have to follow the procedures. Costa Rica appeared content to play the match and hope for a favorable result. When that didn’t happen, the protest was the only step remaining.

Next Time: Now Colorado soccer fans can turn to the more agonizing question. Will the national team be back for another qualifier in the near future?

Clearly, playing a game in March comes with a significant threat of snow. Organizers knew this and, I suspect, this was one of the attractions of bringing a Central American team into a hostile stadium and even more hostile weather.

The crowd turnout was exceptional and the weather was awful. The U.S. secured three points in the one home game it has in the first four qualifiers. Overall, those are all great items for U.S. Soccer.

Now the wait begins on whether the U.S. makes it to Brazil 2014, and when the team will come back to the Front Range in March.

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