soccer

Chile lost the bid to replace Ecuador at the World Cup in the Byron Castillo case

Chile’s bid to exclude its South American rival from the World Cup in Ecuador failed on Friday when the disciplinary committee of the global governing body of football rejected an allegation that Ecuador had issued an inappropriate player in several qualifying matches.

Byron Castillo, a lawyer, was involved in the case, claiming that Chile was not only born in Colombia but also three years older than the documents used to establish its Ecuadorian origin. The Chilean Football Association provided registration documents, including birth certificates, which it claimed supported its claim.

According to the rules of the governing body (FIFA), bringing an unsuitable player to the court may result in the loss of the game in which the unsuitable player participated.

Ecuador finished fourth on the continental qualifier, being one of South America’s four automatic places at the World Cup. However, Chile demanded that Ecuador lose the eight qualifying games in which Castillo participated and that its opponents be awarded three points per game in those matches. Chilean officials had calculated that this result would change South America’s qualifying results and raise Chile to Ecuador’s expense for the World Cup.

FIFA said its officials analyzed submissions from all parties involved in the case, including Peru, which will compete for its place in the intercontinental playoffs next week in Qatar, before concluding that Ecuador had nothing to answer.

Chile may appeal against the decision to FIFA and also to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. FIFA stated that it had informed all parties of its decision; no federation provided immediate public comments.

Ecuador Football Association published a statement after Chile brought an action in May rejecting so – called rumors about Castillo, who he said was an Ecuadorian citizen in both legal and sporting terms.

“We categorically reject any attempt by those who try to avoid our participation in the Qatar World Championships, which were legally won on the field,” the federation said at the time.

Castillo’s background has been in question for several years after a wider investigation into player registration in Ecuador investigated hundreds of cases and sentenced at least 75 young players to falsifying records. Being wary of a mistake that could jeopardize Ecuador’s hopes for this year’s World Cup, Ecuadorian Football Association officials kept Castillo from being among the top teams until this year.

Two years ago, the president of a special commission convened by the federation seemed to claim that Castillo was Colombian, which Chilean officials said they had justified.

“How can we not act with that level of evidence?” said Eduardo Carlezzo, a lawyer representing the Chilean Federation at the time. Carlezzo claimed that, in addition to the Ecuadorian birth certificate used by Castillo, there was also a Colombian child with a similar name born in 1995, whose parents have the same names as Castillo.

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