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U.S. Men's National Team

Costa Rica facing sanctions as FIFA investigates actions during qualifier vs. USMNT

Marco Rodriguez, Matt Besler

By DAN KARELL

The Costa Rican Football Federation did their best to put the U.S. Men’s National Team off their game when the squads met up seven days ago, but it appears that they stepped over the line on multiple occasions.

According to reports in Costa Rica, the Federation is under investigation by FIFA for three separate incidents that occurred on September 6 at the Estadio Nacional. The reports state that prior to kickoff, fans booed and whistled during the United States national anthem, the PA turned off Clint Dempsey’s microphone as he read out a statement about fair play, and Costa Rica supporters pointed lasers at U.S. coaching staff and players.

In addition, FIFA is investigating the actions of Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell during the second half, which saw U.S. centerback Matt Besler yellow carded despite video evidence clearing him of wrong-doing.

The secretary of the Costa Rican Federation’s executive committee, Juan Carlos Roman, confirmed the news, and said that FIFA could potentially force Costa Rica to play their next home game (October 15 vs. Mexico) behind closed doors, taking away a key revenue stream for the organization.

Roman mentioned that the Federation has until September 16th to respond to the complaints lodged by U.S. Soccer, and the investigation is currently going through the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

Costa Rica head coach Jorge Luis Pinto commented on the investigation of Campbell on Friday, though he likely did himself no favors here in the United States.

Pinto complained that when Costa Rica was at the Estadio Azteca and in El Salvador, fans booed their national anthem and lasers were pointed, but nothing was done. He also said that U.S. Soccer shouldn’t have been allowed to place cameras around the stadium, where they could catch certain incidents, like Campbell’s folly.

“I am worried about Campbell,” Pinto said on Costa Rican TV, transcribed by Diez.hn in Honduras. “I hate the licit gesture from the United States for putting a camera behind the coach’s area. They’re not going to refute that, but we should not allow that. It’s a camera that confuses regulations.

“It’s an aggressive act and it’s resentful of the United States.”

——-

What do you think of these reports? Glad FIFA is investigating the claims from the match? Do you see Costa Rica’s next match played behind closed doors? What do you think of Pinto’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.

289 comments
  • John

    At the end of the clip does Cameron walk up to Campbell and point back to the camera telling him its all on video?

    Like

      • Jesse D

        totally awesome. I wonder if he pissed his pants. He personally should receive a match ban starting with the first official competition of 2014. Losing a game in the world cup might be a nice lesson.

        Like

  • beachbum

    agree with those whose take is that this kind of BS has been seemingly happening forever, and the effect is actually helpful to Mexico, a fragile team who would not like playing in front of the crazy Costa Rican fans. Seems like a bunch of BS to me since Costa Rica has already qualified

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    • John

      Seriously why would Costa Rica even show up to play in an empty stadium with nothing on the line. Why should Mexico get a reward for what our team had to deal with, when the same and worse happens in Azteca every time.

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      • JVega

        CR will show up and play. To give any less effort to this match than our matches against panama, Jamaica, and USA would be a huge disrespect to those teams and the game itself.
        Trust me when I say this. Last qualifiers I remember USA clinched their qualification with a victory at Honduras. Following that match, Bob Bradley told the Honduras coach he would play Costa Rica just as tough as they played Honduras. It is a matter of professionalism and respect for all your opponents. Turns out the US did give us a good battle and ended up leaving us out of the world up with that last minute Bornstein header. If any team understands you shouldn’t hand out free games in a qualifier it is Costa Rica.
        Plus also we have to play good in the interest of better seeding for the World Cup. And then there is also the fact that ANY team in concacaf would absolutely LOVE to be the one identified as having left Mexico out of the World Cup. No doubt about it CR will show up and play and this is really adding fuel to the fire.

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      • beachbum

        quite the effort to tie that game late it was my friend :)

        to be clear, my point is this punishment conveniently helps Mexico and their fragile state. I hope you all crush them and that all you are saying is true about how they will play, trust me, but still find the timing of the enforcement interesting to say the least for offenses we’ve all seen go down so often with no problem as just normal operating procedures and gamesmanship.

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      • Artie

        “To give any less effort to this match than our matches against panama, Jamaica, and USA would be a huge disrespect to those teams and the game itself.”

        Yes, because Costa Rica’s actions clearly suggest a pattern of respect for the game of soccer.

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      • Mason

        Please don’t talk about respect when your fed is doing everything in its power to piss ours away.

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      • Hogatroge

        JVega,

        I really appreciate your level-headed comments in regards to this situation. It’s a nice change from the other commentary out there.

        That said… no CONCACAF sides have any shot at seeding in this WC, but CR should definitely play hard for pride, and knocking Mexico out of the tourney would be pretty impressive (even if it would be bad for CONCACAF potentially).

        Like

      • Mason

        Because not showing up to play invites extra punishment. They have to at least throw a team on the field.

        Like

    • John

      You seriously want to compare Dempsey taking contact and perhaps going a little too easy to what Campbell did?

      Like

      • Chaca

        A dive is a dive and Dempsey dives all the time.
        Somebody should investigate that.

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      • JVega

        Couldn’t agree more. A dive is an unsportsmanlike act regardless of how it happens. Dempsey dives and to deny that is simply being biased.

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      • peterprinciple

        Nah, the Campbell move was classless, as was a whole host of the CRFed moves leading up to the game. Laser pointers, booing is one thing- the Costa Ricans made things more difficult on the Americans at every turn in country. I guarantee the Costa Ricans were treated like princes in Denver outside of having to play in the snow which the USSF did not order up and had to play in also. The US has earned the right to point fingers by putting up with all that and obviously were justified in recording the game because stuff like this happens down there,

        And the Campbell thing was nothing at all other than either trying to delay the game or hurt the opponent for its next fixture by falsely eliminating a player. Just the worst. Dempsey dives and we mostly all HATE that too.

        Don’t know why I am complaining though, we have a Gold Cup and a Hex lead to be proud of anyway, we played an awful 10 minutes on a night where everythign was stacked against us.

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      • Jesse D

        Seriously, dempsey only goes down after contact and in the run of play. A dive is not a dive. There are degrees. This was classes. There is no other way of looking at. Costa Rican’s are dirty, they set out to be dirty and now it is back firing.

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      • JVega

        A dive is cheating, period. Some dives are more blatant than others, but they all have one thing in common; it’s cheating. Stop lying to yourself please.

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      • Jesse D

        Cheating is what your wife does and Joel Campbell. Falling down easier than he needs to is what Dempsey does.

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      • John

        What Campbell did isn’t even a dive. Its just straight play acting. You can search for the worst dives in history and almost none are as bad as what Campbell did. He is clearly a talented young player and I hope Costa Rica and Campbell go on to do good things next summer. However to try and justify it, like well everyone dives so its ok is silly.

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      • John

        I just don’t even understand the point of it either. You are up by 2 goals with 10 minutes left what do you really even gain from it? If a line judge had actually seen it they could have just as easy given Campbell a yellow or red at that point. At this point it really doesn’t effect the US in any way so I don’t care but I just don’t get what the purpose was.

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      • CplDaniel

        I miss the good-ol’-days when Dempsey dove, he would come back up with blood on his face.

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      • John

        Well if that’s true I’m sure he’ll develop a reputation for diving and could start getting yellows even when he is actually taking a foul. That’s usually how things end up evening out.

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    • Hogatroge

      Some people just can’t accept when they (or their team) do something wrong. Campbell’s dive was completely different than Dempsey’s.

      Gaining an offensive advantage is a totally different intent than trying to get a player ejected from another game. Also, there’s a difference in exaggerating light, legal contact and inventing contact.

      For what it’s worth, I would have been fine with a YC to Dempsey because I’m getting sick of his useless dives, but the YC to Besler was completely ridiculous.

      Like

  • Maykol

    People dive all the time, especially when people dont get touched, it happened in the world cup. I hear people saying “give him a ten game ban!”. A bunch of you are acting like whiny little girls.

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    • John

      I don’t really care if he gets a ban at all, at this point it doesn’t really effect us. I just don’t understand what he thought he had to gain by diving in that moment. The only out come was to perhaps help Mexico. However they need a lot more help then that it turns out. It was a pretty over the top comical dive that I’m sure will show up on worst dive highlight reels but other then that who cares I guess.

      Like

  • Jerry

    I’m so glad to see this action being taken. It’s a lot like when the punk from El Salvador cheap shotted Terrence Boyd in the Olympic qualifiers but no one saw it. FIFA retroactively punished him and hopefully they will do the same to Campbell. It’s hard to defend soccer as the “beautiful game” to my American friends when they can point to this chump’s video to support their trash talk about soccer being for sissies. FIFA should go the route of MLS and go back after all games to hand out fines and penalties for stuff the ref’s miss…it would go a long way towards making the sport more credible…

    Like

    • Hogatroge

      Agreed. Individual suspensions & fines to players, the crowd, and the FA are the way to go.

      The last people that should be punished are the players who did nothing wrong and would get screwed by the one guy who did. Still, situations like Henry’s handball that knocked Ireland out of the 2010 WC really suck.

      Like

  • Leo

    The only justice I see is prohibiting Costa Rica from playing home games completely. Let their classless federation and fans rot.

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      • Hogatroge

        JVega… don’t get me wrong, regarding the product on the field, we US fans are only upset with ourselves and our team.

        Anyone would be pissed off about the unnecessary dive by Campbell (he had just put the game out of reach).

        How do you think the Ticos would feel if the tables were turned on them when they came to the US? Add in a gamut of DEA and INS checkpoints, maybe some Homeland Security, denying the players even so much as a crappy high school football practice field to train on, etc.

        And as petty as it makes me… check the standings again! Will enjoy seeing Mexico use Costa Rica as a stepping stone to the play-in match with NZ.

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      • Leo

        Nobody, let me be clear, NOBODY, would care if Costa Rica, their soccer program and their ignorant populace slid in the sea and were never heard from again.

        Seriously, nobody gives a $hit about them.

        Like

  • Travis

    While I disliked a lot of what Costa Rica did, punishing them for any of it would be a worrying sign. I regularly see people dive and no retroactive punishment is taken. While this incident was bad I have seen much worse than this dive gotten away with. Also don’t a lot of nations regularly boo the opposing teams anthem (like England)? You simply can’t selectively punish a single nation for the acts that many commit. Would not shock me at all if FIFA was colluding to try and get Mexico into the WC with these punishments.

    Like

      • Ricardo

        Just one quick, Henry’s handball, that got France in the WC and disqualified Ireland, let’s go retroactive and play that WC again…

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      • user222

        this ricardo dude is clueless….

        when asked, he cant backup his arguments with reason. …

        he probably talks to himself… too

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      • Andtrew

        Ricardo isn’t clueless…he has an inferiority complex that has made him one Tico with a big chip to unload…

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    • Hogatroge

      I think these selected punishments are kinda representative of all the negative stunts CR pulled that can’t really be officially punished because they weren’t against Fair Play rules, just bad sportsmanship.

      Like

  • peterprinciple

    Good, now let’s investigate these officials too, I don’t know how anyone could have seen anything they thought was wrong here as well.

    Like

    • user222

      The mexican ref (known as Dracula by mexican fans because of his looks) came over to where the “alleged” infraction occurred.

      You can see clearly he received communication (via headset) from the line-judge (who was out of sight) that Besler had committed and infraction worth of a yellow card….

      What did the line-judge see to raise the flag? The evidence shows the line-judge made it up… He got paid!!!

      Like

      • peterprinciple

        The line judges were Mexican too correct and USA was the next opponent for Mexico right. BS, BUT all is well. 2-0, first in the hex

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      • Paul Miller

        It does raise questions of whether campbell knew his farce would be supported by that line judge. We could be looking at collusion between a player and an official, as well as the worst display of lacking on-field integrity I can recall.

        Would all of the ‘let’s get over it and move on’ folks then agree this situation merits extraordinary responses?

        Like

      • Hogatroge

        Chiquidracula is actually a very good and fair ref (even if he’s pretty heavy-handed with cards). He was duped by the line judge… I doubt he intended to hurt the US, especially since he gives out cards like candy in the Liga MX, too.

        Like

      • Eurosnob

        I agree. I don’t think that he was biased against the US (I’ve seen much worse officiating in CONCACAF road games) and Besler’s yellow card is on the linesman, not the main ref.

        Like

  • user222

    it’d be another black eye to FIFA (they’re a joke as it is) who forces team captains to read a ‘fair-play’ statement before the game…. and does nothing when the evidence of UN-fair play is overwhelming.

    Like

  • user222

    the punishment…. the next US-CR in costa rica should be played at closed doors.

    campbell should be banned the first competitive game in 2014… (a 2014 WC game)… and he should be the lead actor (no pun intended) on FIFA commercials about the integrity of the sport.

    Like

      • Paul Miller

        I’ve watched a lot of qualifiers and I don’t recall anything quite like campbelling before. I’ve seen players dive, I’ve seen injuries faked to waste time. But campbelling has taken on-field cheating to a new, malicious level I haven’t seen before.

        We shouldn’t allow ourselves to become desensitized to big-time low-life behavior just because we frequently see two-bit low-life behavior. That’s how things get progressively worse; how lack of integrity becomes even more deeply ingrained in the game itself.

        So, while I respect the notion that we should just move on and not worry about it, I don’t agree with that notion. Nothing less than a year suspension fits this offense, in my view. And while I wouldn’t execute the punishment, I don’t discussing a shorter suspension for the coach is out of the question, because his comments seem to indicate that he condones this integrity-devoid type of behavior.

        Diving is one thing; campbelling is far worse, in my view. Try to imagine the scorn that fans would have if someone in the NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA tried to pull that crap. Remember, this wasn’t during play. It would be akin to a hockey player during warm-ups skating behind an opponent and falling down, claiming he had been sucker-punched. That guy would get run out of the game, by the league and the fans (as well as probably getting his back-side kicked for real right there on the ice).

        I see this as an important moment for the game. Is world football going to allow the continued erosion of on-field integrity or is it going to say this is finally a step too far?

        Like

      • Ricardo

        Your comments and all the other Americans that don’t understand soccer makes me laugh. How about every time a basketball player screams and throw his arms in the air looking for a foul call, get suspended for a whole season. You guys are upset just because for once you did not get special treatment you sissies

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        Basketball players looking for fouls is the same thing as diving.

        It’s not the same thing as campbelling. If you don’t see that, then I feel sorry for you.

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      • Paul Miller

        Oh, and please educate this American with your far more advanced understanding of soccer. Why is it that CONCACAF is seen as the backwater trailer park of world football? I’ve been trying to figure that one out for a while, but as you noted, I don’t understand the game very much. It couldn’t have anything to do with little turds like Campbell, could it?

        Like

      • Mason

        You keep comparing Cambell to an IN PLAY dive.

        It doesn’t work, and it’s pathetic.

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      • Andtrew

        Notice who the biggest offenders of diving in the NBA? It’s the internationals…like Ginobli (OMG he’s such a bitch) and now it has festered and spread throughout the league…I thought it was hilarious when Ray Allen simulated the foul during the finals and it was Ginobli who was called for the flagrant foul…karma.

        Like

      • Eurosnob

        I agree that what Campbell did is not a run of the mill diving. Unfortunately, this form of cheating is not a new thing in soccer. Remember, Abdul Kader Keïta getting Kaka sent off in the WC after faking that Kaka elbowed him in the face? Even though I despise Campbell for being such a scumbag, I think that the year-long suspension is excessive. However, because Besler had to miss a game after doing nothing wrong as result of Campbell’s shenanigans, Campbell should be also suspended for more than one game. Perhaps something like 3 games would be sufficient (2 remaining WC qualifiers and the first WC game, if Costa Rica makes it).

        Like

      • Jesse D

        This sounds just. In fact I’m okay with Campbell just missing the first game of the world cup along with his coach. That is fair. CR is already qualified so the final qualifiers don’t matter. Punish him in a game that meant something just like Besler was punished in a game that meant something.

        Like

    • Hogatroge

      13 of the 14 Costa Rican players on Friday played fair enough. Punish the FA and the crowd, not the squad.

      Like

  • biff

    I only a read a few of the comments below, but enough to know that I can say this: Come on, guys, move on, just like most of you were screaming to Costa Rica after the Snow Ball game in March that anyone with half a mind and an ounce of objectivity combined with fairness knows should have been postponed. The CR fans were pi$$ed off and rightfully so. That said, what they did last week was wrong and it appears they will pay a price, and rightfully so. It’s being dealt with. But the Costa Rica players, despite their disgusting theatrics, kicked our collective you-know-whats with a darn good brand of soccer. They whupped us bad. Better for the USMNT to look at ahead instead of spending time and energy worrying about the past. We will play them again and it will now be a huge rivalry to look forward to. Can’t wait. Let’s hope we meet again next summer in Brazil. Wouldn’t that be sweet.

    Onward! WC 2014.

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      biff, most commenters are not denying that we deserved to lose; they’re expressing contempt for (1) campbell’s dive and (2) pinto’s quote. while also pointing out that this retroactive stuff will only help mexico.

      also, to all the commenters expressing incredulity about pinto’s comments, i think he actually has a pretty good case: protesting because you got caught doing something wrong is pretty much the most fifa thing ever.

      Like

    • Hogatroge

      Sorry biff, but regardless of what should have happened with the snow game, it was still a level playing field. Both teams played in the snow, and CR actually played better when the snow got heavy than the US did.

      Again… we played like crap in San Jose, so we didn’t deserve to win. But Costa Rica’s actions went too far on multiple counts, and if it stands it will only open the doors for more of our opponents to pull similar crap on more occasions.

      While I could have lived with the loss under other circumstances, it’s a shame our boys pulled out such a stinker because they now feel karmically justified in their actions.

      Still… complaining that you got cheating because you were caught red handed is pretty ridiculous. I don’t think the “illegal cameras” BS will fly even with FIFA.

      Like

      • Ricardo

        Let’s ask about the illegal cameras to The Patriots…. They agree with you guys…

        Like

      • Mason

        The Pat’s only sin was putting the camera in the wrong place. The NFL has rules on camera placement (only in the coaches booth, none on the sidelines or in the stands), but FIFA and CONCACAF have no such rules.

        Basically, your coach is a little female dog and so are you.

        Like

  • GarVer

    Don’t you all see the real reasons behind all this? Worst things have happened in qualifying games and FIFA did nothing.

    Now that CR has to play the last game against Mexico to see if Mexico is going to the World Cup, then now FIFA is doing the “FAIR PLAY” move. This punishment is not because of Campbell, or the people doing something wrong.

    The real issue here is FIFA is trying to benefit the Mexican squad to have a little advantage in the last game. All of you who are trying to see if CR did it or not, are wrong.

    Look at the real reasons and not the smoke screen FIFA is trying to throw in the media. FIFA has never punished a team for the reason CR team would be if they finally decide to do it.

    PLEASE, all of you, use your common sense and see the real reasons.

    Like

  • Ricardo

    Tired of all the diving police saying which is worse, please…. Cheating is cheating going, in diving looking for a penalty that gives you a free score is as bad, I guess the double standards of the narrow minded americans is at is best… Thank God you guys don’t cheat., let’s just ask all the 90s and 2000 sports man of USA. Armstrong anyone… MLB anyone, Royse anyone I can go all night

    Like

      • Jason B

        Just because someone else does it doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to do it. Your argument is the same as lance armstrongs…..

        Like

      • Ricardo

        Not saying is right, but nothing haven’t seen before. Some of posts are in ooohhh the horror mode, this happens all the time in soccer and sports, and depending who did it it goes without major incident. There lies the problem….

        Like

      • Ricardo

        Not saying is right, but nothing haven’t seen before. And goes without major incident. There lies the problem….

        Like

    • Gary

      I am an ex-pat living Costa Rica and a few years ago, for the last World Cup, basically the same thing happened. There was a threat against Costa Rica for throwing small batteries and 100 colon coins at the American players. The Americans walked onto the field just looking down and took this abuse like men. Plus the recording of the American National Anthem was garbled, played at a low column while the Ticos whistled and booed. The Costa Rican passive aggressive attitude is not only on the field, but in the stands and in my day to day life. It was noticeably worse leading up to the game on September 6th.

      Like

      • Daniel

        You should quit whinning and go back home to watch your national team play in hockey-like conditions.

        Like

      • Mike in Missouri

        We should have filed a protest for playing on that “Field” at Saprissa for all those years, but didn’t. A little snow and a whole nation whines and cries.

        Like

  • José

    This is totally ridiculous and bs I knew FIFA will come out with this bs and the mexican media help a lot to pressure FIFA they’ve been talking a lot how FIFA will loose millions if Mexico doesn’t qualifie to the WC they are making the sport a business why they don’t disqualified Mexico for their fans throwing trash to players?!!! So stupid now we know who’s been behind this fixed matches right Fifa world you are trying to clean your own shit because of the favoritism..

    Like

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