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Mar 26, 2013

FIFA rejects Costa Rica replay demand

FIFA has confirmed that Costa Rica's 1-0 World Cup qualifying loss against United States will stand, despite the former's appeal for a replay due to the adverse weather conditions the game was played in.

The Costa Rican Football Federation lodged an official protest on Sunday after Friday's clash in the United States was played in a blizzard.

The home side picked up a crucial win in Denver, thanks to Clint Dempsey's 16th minute goal. But conditions were atrocious throughout the match and officials regularly had to come on to clear the snow to make the pitch markings visible.

FIFA, however, announced on Tuesday via a statement on its website that there will be no replay and that the original result will count as valid.

The statement read: "FIFA received a letter via email and fax from the Costa Rica FA on 24 March 2013 with regards to the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier played on 22 March between USA and Costa Rica.

"FIFA has examined the content of the letter and, taking into consideration article 14, paragraph 4 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup regulations, has confirmed that the conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met by the Costa Rica FA.

"Therefore, the result of the match played on 22 March stands and is considered as valid."

As a result of the defeat, Costa Rica are bottom of the final-round standings, with just one point from two games. United States, meanwhile, sit second in the group with three points from two games, one point off leaders Honduras, and travel to Mexico on Tuesday.

The Costa Rican Football Federation president Eduardo Li said of the conditions after the United States defeat: "It was terrible. While the match was being played, at the same time, machines and people came on to the field to clean the lines.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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