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Mar 24, 2013

Costa Rica says it has filed protest

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Costa Rica is asking FIFA for a replay of Friday's World Cup qualifier against the United States, won 1-0 by the Americans during a snowstorm in Commerce City, Colo.

Costa Rican Football Federation Treasurer Rolando Villalobos said in a statement Sunday that documentation had been sent to FIFA to back the claim, including photographs and videos.

The Costa Rican federation said the climatic conditions threatened the physical integrity of the players, left the sidelines and markings on the field largely not visible and led to the entry onto the field of snow-clearing personnel, which it said was not permitted.

The federation also argued that "ball movement became impossible given the quantity of snow on the field" and called on FIFA to punish the match officials who allowed the game to proceed.

"What happened the night of Friday the 22nd ... has no precedents, since it not only went against the sporting spectacle, but also against the physical integrity of the officials and players," the statement said.

During Friday's game, plows and shovels were used to clear the penalty areas, center circle and midfield stripe as snow got heavier, and a yellow-and-purple ball was used.

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto urged the referee to suspend the game, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made a case for playing on because both teams faced the same conditions.

The U.S. won on Clint Dempsey's 16th-minute goal.

The protested loss left Costa Rica at the bottom of its division with one point.

The U.S. Soccer Federation declined to comment Sunday night.

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