CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifying

Costa Rica fans protest FIFA verdict

March 27, 2013

Costa Rica fans turned their backs on the Estadio Nacional before Tuesday's CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifying match versus Jamaica to protest a recent FIFA decision to uphold a snowy United States 1-0 win over Costa Rica last week in Colorado, according to reports.

A group of fans used social media to publicize the "turn your back on the FIFA 'fair play' flag," asking the Costa Rica fans to take action during the prematch formalities, said an Efe News Agency report.

"This March 26 we are asking all who attend the Costa Rica-Jamaica match at Estadio Nacional to unite with us to turn our backs on the stadium while the 'Fair Play' hymn is played as part of a protest," read the statement posted via Facebook and Twitter.

Signs were also put up throughout the stadium, including one that read: "We demand justice and fair play, repeat the match against the USA."

The Ticos were angered by the decision of referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador to allow the game in Commerce City, Colo., to be played on a snow-covered field. But FIFA upheld the win, saying the protest by the visitors was not filed correctly.

World Cup regulations required Ticos captain Bryan Ruiz to "immediately lodge a protest" with the referee if he believed the field became unplayable, FIFA said. U.S. captain Clint Dempsey also needed to be present for the protest.

Protests also must be filed in writing to FIFA's administration "no later than two hours after the match," the regulations state. FIFA said it received the protest letter Sunday, two days after the game.

"The conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met," FIFA said in a statement Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Deportes was used in this report.