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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Costa Rica to allow 5,000 fans at World Cup qualifier

After changing course twice, Costa Rican authorities announced Friday that 5,000 vaccinated fans can attend La Sele’s upcoming World Cup qualifier against El Salvador.

The 5,000-fan limit had been the original plan, but the Costa Rican Football Federation on Monday reversed course and announced no fans would be permitted for Sunday’s match. That decision was made based on apparent difficulties in verifying Covid-19 vaccination status.

Now, the Presidency says, up to 5,000 fans can demonstrate their vaccine status using the Health Ministry’s digital certificate or — for this time only — the printed vaccine card with their cédula.

Tickets will cost 15,000 colones each and will be sold in packs of two or three via

“The national team needs the support of the fans,” said Rodolfo Villalobos, head of FEDEFUTBOL.

“We are pleased that the dialogue has allowed us to reach an agreement with the government that allows us to comply with the protocols and at the same time say yes to our national team, which is so dear to the Costa Rican people.”

Costa Rica has yet to win in this round of World Cup qualifying. On Thursday, it tied Honduras, 0-0.

Following the must-win match on Sunday against El Salvador, La Sele will visit Columbus to face the United States on October 13.

These upcoming match days are critical for Costa Rica, which dropped points against Mexico and Jamaica in September. La Sele currently ranks sixth in the CONCACAF octagonal with three points. 

The top-three teams from the octagonal will qualify to the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar, while the fourth-place team enters an intercontinental playoff.

A full Covid-19 vaccine schedule will also be required for fans wishing to attend Costa Rica’s first in-person concerts during the pandemic.

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