On Friday night, a World Cup qualifying match between a team in Commerce City, CO and Costa Rica’s national team in Colorado was played through, despite blizzard conditions.
As conditions worsened from cold to snowy, to outright blizzard, Costa Ricans grew from concerned to outraged because they felt it was unfair to have a team that is from a tropical country play in such conditions.
About an hour into the match, as it became apparent that the teams were playing in blizzard conditions, Costa Rican president, Laura Chinchilla, tweeted “Que horror!! Están degradando el deporte!!” (“What horror!! They’re degrading the sport!!”)
The only goal scored that night was made early on in the game by the US team’s Clint Dempsey. This win has now put the Colorado team in the second to last place in the CONCACAF division and moved Costa Rica to last place. On Tuesday, both teams will play again: Costa Rica vs. Jamaica and Colorado vs. Mexico.
The Costa Rican coach, Jorge Luis Pinto, called the decision not to cancel the soccer match an “embarrassment”. He states “It’s embarrassing for football and embarrassing for fair play. It’s disrespectful to FIFA, the fans, the players and spectacle.”
This is while the front page of Costa Rica’s sports daily’s headline states “Outrageous! We were forced to play in caveman conditions.”
The manager of the Costa Rican team has stated that they will be protesting this loss under these conditions. “You couldn’t see the pitch markings and that is not allowed under the FIFA regulations. We are going to protest.” he stated.