World Cup

FIFA gets Costa Rica protest over WCup loss to US

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ZURICH (AP)

FIFA is studying a protest from the Costa Rica soccer federation, which wants a World Cup qualifier against the United States replayed after losing 1-0 in a snowstorm.

''FIFA will now analyze the content of the letter and next steps will be determined in due course,'' the governing body said Monday in a statement.

The Costa Rican federation said Sunday that the ''physical integrity'' of players and officials was affected, ''ball movement became impossible'' and field markings were not visible in Friday's match played in Commerce City, Colo.

The federation also urged FIFA to punish match officials, including referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador, for allowing the match to proceed.

For the protest to have a chance of succeeding, it must meet specific requirements stated in the 2014 World Cup Regulations.

One clause says that when a field becomes unplayable, the protesting team's captain ''shall immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team.''

Costa Rica also had to file written protests with the match coordinator within two hours of the final whistle, and to FIFA's administration by registered letter within 24 hours, ''otherwise they shall be disregarded,'' the regulations state. FIFA had yet to determine whether Costa Rica had followed those procedures.

U.S. captain Clint Dempsey scored in the 16th minute to lift his team to second place in the six-team CONCACAF region qualifying group after two matches. Costa Rica is last.

The top three teams qualify directly for the tournament in Brazil, and the fourth-place team faces New Zealand in a playoff.

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