Costa Rica's Soccer Federation Complains About Snow, Asks For Rematch Against U.S.
Last Friday, the United States won an epic World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica. The team did it outside Denver, under what were essentially blizzard conditions.
Now, on the eve of a Mexico vs. U.S. game in Mexico City, Costa Rica has lodged a formal complaint with FIFA, saying the "physical integrity" of the players and officials was affected and "ball movement became impossible." The country is now asking for a rematch of their 1-0 loss.
"On Monday FIFA said that it would analyze the protest and make a decision 'in due course.'
"In an e-mail, Sunil Gulati, president of the United States Soccer Federation, declined to comment on the protest. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and players were scheduled to be available Monday afternoon. The most immediate concerns for the Americans will be trying to obtain their first World Cup qualifying victory in Mexico City and replacing Jermaine Jones in midfield. He sustained what team officials said was an ankle injury in the first half Friday that required two stitches. He was subbed out in the 83rd minute.
"After Friday's 1-0 victory, provided on a goal by Clint Dempsey in the 16th minute, Klinsmann called the match 'a nice snow battle' and said he would have done anything within his power to continue. And the American players noted that both teams played in the same conditions."
If you missed it, ESPN has some highlights. During the match, snow shovels had to be used to clear the lines on the field:
The AP reports that Costa Rica is also asking FIFA to punish match officials "including referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador, for allowing the match to proceed."
The U.S. is scheduled to play Mexico on Tuesday at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. NPR's Only A Game has a preview:
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.