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By ESPN Staff

Costa Rica fans banned after violence

SAN JOSE, March 9 (Reuters) - Costa Rica have been fined and ordered to host their next World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after fans rioted following their defeat by Mexico last month, the national federation (Fedefutbol) has said.

World body FIFA fined Costa Rica 20,000 Swiss francs ($17,000) and ordered them to play Panama in the CONCACAF qualifiers behind closed doors at the Saprissa stadium in the capital on March 26, Fedefutbol chairman Hermes Navarro said.

Costa Rica fans threw objects including coins and batteries onto the pitch after Mexico won 2-1, their first win in San Jose in a World Cup qualifier, on February 9.

A Fedefutbol statement on Tuesday said Costa Rica would appeal as they consider the sanctions harsh.

Mexico and the U.S. lead the six-nation CONCACAF final qualifying group with three points each after the first round of matches. The U.S. also won 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago while Panama drew 0-0 at home against Guatemala.

The top three sides qualify directly for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. The fourth-placed team will play off against an Asian team.