Chile call for Ecuador to be kicked out of World Cup over alleged ineligible player

The Football Federation of Chile have filed a legal challenge arguing that Byron Castillo was not eligible to play for Ecuador in World Cup qualifying

Associated Press
Thursday 05 May 2022 17:59 BST
<p>Byron Castillo played for Ecuador during South American qualifying for the World Cup </p>

Byron Castillo played for Ecuador during South American qualifying for the World Cup

Chile have called for South American rivals Ecuador to be kicked out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after alleging they fielded an ineligible player during qualifying.

The Football Federation of Chile have asked FIFA to investigate its claim that Ecuador player Byron Castillo is actually Colombian and not entitled to have played in qualifying games.

The complaint comes more than one month after South American qualifying ended and Ecuador were drawn into a group for the tournament proper alongside host nation Qatar, Netherlands and Senegal.

“FIFA can confirm that it has received a formal complaint from the Chilean FA in relation to this matter,” the sport’s governing body said in a statement, although gave no timetable for a possible disciplinary case ahead of the World Cup kicking off November 21.

Ecuador placed fourth in the 10-nation South American qualifying group to advance directly to Qatar, while fifth-place Peru have a play-off game next month against Australia or the United Arab Emirates.

Chile finished seventh, seven points behind Ecuador, but are arguing that they could advance if games involving Castillo were forfeited. The FIFA rules in cases of ineligible players require results to be overturned as a 3-0 loss.

Byron Castillo is now at the centre of a legal row

Chile have now filed complaints against an opponent’s player in back-to-back World Cup qualifying programs. In South American qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Bolivia forfeited two games in which it fielded an ineligible player as a late substitute.

FIFA had received complaints from Chile and Peru about Bolivia defender Nelson Cabrera, who was born in Paraguay and had previously played for Paraguay’s national team. Bolivia lost an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport which said FIFA was right to investigate even when protests were filed weeks after the games were played.

That case ultimately harmed Chile. The three extra points awarded to Peru lifted them above Chile to enter an intercontinental play-off that they subsequently won.

FIFA wrote stricter rules for the 2022 World Cup requiring all players in qualifying games to produce a “valid permanent international passport” for inspection by match officials.

Associated Press

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