FIFA opens investigation against Costa Rica following United States match

FIFA opened an investigation against the Costa Rican Football Federation (Fedefut), due to alleged infractions that occurred before the start of the match against the United States last Friday.

Eduardo Li, president of Fedefut, told the radio show “Encuentro Deportivo” and YashinQuesada.com that the investigation is due to loud jeers and catcalls drowning out the U.S. national anthem.

An international delegate at the match alerted FIFA to the incident. Costa Rica won the qualifier, 3-1.

“We will pay the fine, yes,” Li told the radio station. “But they ought to sanction the rest of the countries that have committed the same mistake.”

Costa Rican fans remained angry over a World Cup Qualifying match against the U.S. last March in Denver, Colorado. In a blizzard, the United States defeated the Ticos 1-0. Fedefut thought the match should’ve been postponed, but a formal protest filed to FIFA was denied due to protocol errors.

Fedefut and supporters of “La Sele,” as Costa Rica’s national team is known, engaged in some gamesmanship before last week’s match, such as not providing official soccer balls for U.S. team practices. But those measures all appeared to fall within the bounds of what FIFA considers fair play.  

However, it seems the Fedefut still will face a punishment over the U.S. trip after the home crowd violated FIFA operating procedures for respecting national anthems.