Costa Rica furious with Fifa testing


The Costa Rican Football Federation is furious at Fifa for ordering seven of its team’s players to undergo drug tests in the aftermath of the famous World Cup win over Italy.

Diego Maradona has accused world football’s governing body of discriminating against Costa Rica and a source at the country’s federation has told the Guardian that they feel offended by the abnormal procedure.

Two players from every team are required for doping control after matches but Fifa requested that five additional Costa Ricans were tested. It has not been officially revealed which players were targeted but Bryan Ruiz, who scored the only goal of Friday’s game that confirmed Costa Rica’s fairytale qualification to the last 16, was one of them.

Fifa say that the mass procedure was necessary because some of the Costa Rica players had been unavailable for the mandatory pre-tournament tests. But there is indignation within the Costa Rican setup as they cannot understand why Fifa chose the moments after one of the greatest victories in the nation’s history to carry out the tests. Fifa, they say, could have chosen any other time since the squad arrived in Brazil.

Maradona failed a drugs test himself – he was sent home from USA 94 after testing positive for several banned substances, including ephedrine.

“Why test seven players from Costa Rica and not seven from Italy?” Maradona, the 1986 World Cup winner, said. “It’s against the rules. Two players from each team are supposed to undergo doping controls. I know what I’m talking about because it happened to me. But seven players? I’ve never seen something like that.

“Taking seven Costa Ricans to doping shows a lack of respect to the players and to the rules. osta Rica had an incredible qualification. They had three world champions in the group and they beat them with good football.”

Costa Rica, who beat Uruguay 3-1 in their opening tie, face England in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. The small central American nation need only a point to ensure that they advance to the last 16 as the group winners.

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