FIFA claim over Ecuador's World Cup position filed by Chile

 | May 6, 2022

The Chilean Football Federation asked FIFA to rule on the eligibility of one of Ecuador's players.

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On Thursday, a FIFA claim was filed by the Chilean Football Federation alleged that an Ecuador player used a false passport and birth certificate. This could jeopardize the Andean side's participation in this year's World Cup.

According to Chile, they have proof that full-back Byron Castillo of Barcelona of Guayaquil was born in Tumaco, Colombia, in 1995. On his official papers, it states that he was born in the Ecuadorean city of General Villamil Playas in 1998.

In a statement, the Chilean Federation said: "All this is obviously well known by the FEF (Ecuadorean Federation)," the Chilean federation said in a statement. The football world cannot close its eyes to so much proof."

The statement continued: " These serious and irregular practices in the registration of players cannot be accepted, especially when we are talking about a world competition."

Evidence was sent to FIFA by the federation and FIFA acknowledged that it had "received a formal complaint from the Chilean FA". However, FIFA declined to comment any further on the subject.

In 2021, reports from Ecuador said that Castillo had been ratified as a citizen of Ecuador, making him eligible to play for the national side. The Ecuadorean FA commented that the Chilean Federation's claims are "unfounded rumors".

The statement said: "We must be emphatic [and state] that Byron Castillo is Ecuadorean for all legal effects." If proven to be true instead of rumors, this could put Ecuador's World Cup eligibility in question.

Castillo played in eight of Ecuador's 18 qualifiers, matches where they picked up 14 of their 26 points. In the event that they lose points for the games Castillo played, the team could miss out on the Qatar World Cup.

The dispute is the second in consecutive World Cup qualifying campaigns involving Chile. 

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Ricky Gray

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