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Apr 17, 2013

Costa Rica wants U.S. at Saprissa

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Costa Rica wants to move a World Cup soccer qualifying game against the Unites States to cozy old Ricardo Saprissa.

The Sept. 6 match was originally scheduled to be held at the National Stadium, which opened in 2011, but the Costa Rican Soccer Federation is trying to move it to Saprissa, an old, smaller stadium with artificial turf. At Saprissa, the fans are right behind the benches and have thrown urine bags and other projectiles at opponents.

Eduardo Li, president of the Costa Rican Soccer Federation, said Wednesday that's what the Costa Rican people want.

"The voice of the people is the voice of God, and if people want us to play there, we will play in the Saprissa against the United States," Li said in an interview with the radio station Radio Rican DNA.

No one at the federation immediately responded to calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

FIFA would have to approve the change in venue.

Li said Club Saprissa president Juan Carlos Rojas was willing to make the necessary arrangements at the stadium to host the match.

"I would not want to say anything else about the possibility of holding other matches there, but if we play at the Saprissa, we have to have the right conditions and that's what I told Mr. Juan Carlos Rojas," Li said.

The possible change of venue comes after Costa Rica lost 1-0 in its recent visit to the United States, a game played in heavy snow in Colorado. Costa Rica filed a complaint with FIFA about the field's conditions, but it was dismissed.

Before facing the United States, Costa Rica hosts Honduras on June 7. Four days later, it will visit Mexico and then it will welcome Panama for a home game on June 18.

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