FIFA has shot down Costa Rica's protest of last Friday's World Cup qualifying loss against the USA at snowy Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Just 24 hours after confirming receipt of the protest, world soccer's governing body issued its final ruling, striking Costa Rica's appeal to replay the match based on a technicality.
"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," said a FIFA statement. "Therefore, the result of the match played on 22 March stands and is considered as valid."
Article 14, paragraph 4 of the regulations details the manner in which a national team can protest when the playing surface becomes unplayable after a match has already kicked off.
"If the pitch’s playing surface becomes unplayable during a match, the captain of the protesting team shall immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team," according to the rulebook. "The protests shall be confirmed in writing to the FIFA general secretariat during the preliminary competition and during the final competition by the head of the team delegation no later than two hours after the match."
US national team captain Clint Dempsey on Monday made it clear that he was never part of a meeting with Costa Rican captain Bryan Ruiz or the match official about the playing surface.
"That didn't happen," Dempsey said at the USA's pregame press conference. "Just before the game, the only thing that was talked about was the flip of a coin and we won the toss and we chose to go first half against the wind."
The USA will look to add to the three points won against Costa Rica when they face Mexico at the Estadio Azteca on Tuesday night (10:30 pm ET, ESPN and Univision).