FIFA denies Costa Rica's snow game protest

FIFA denies Costa Rica's snow game protest
United States defender Geoff Cameron (20) helps a grounds keeper shovel snow off the field during the second half of a World Cup qualifier soccer match against Costa Rica in Commerce City, Colo., Friday, March 22, 2013. The United States beat Costa Rica 1-0. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has upheld the United States' 1-0 win over Costa Rica in a snowy World Cup qualifier last week, saying the protest by the visitors was not filed correctly.

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.

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.