World Cup Qatar: Ecuador in Danger of Losing Slot for Fielding Colombian Player During Qualifiers

World Cup Qatar: Ecuador in Danger of Losing Slot for Fielding Colombian Player During Qualifiers

  • Ecuador risk losing their position in the FIFA World Cup after fielding an ineligible player during the South American qualifiers
  • Chile argue that Byron Castillo was born in 1995 in Colombia and he is not an Ecuadorian as claimed by Ecuador authorities
  • If found guilty, Ecuador will lose their place in the Qatar bonanza with Chile taking up their position as per FIFA rules

The World Governing body for football, FIFA has opened official disciplinary actions against Ecuador.

The South American country is accused of fielding an ineligible player during the World Cup qualifiers.

If found guilty, Ecuador will be banned from this year's World Cup which is set to take place in Qatar. Ecuador had already booked their ticket after finishing fourth in the South American qualifiers and booking a direct ticket. They are set to play hosts Qatar, Netherlands and Senegal in the group stages of the world showpiece.

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World Cup Qatar, Ecuador, Chile, Byron Castillo, FIFA
Enner Valencia of Ecuador celebrates with teammates after scoring during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification match between Ecuador and Argentina. Photo by Jose Jacome.
Source: Getty Images

But their hopes of making a World Cup appearance could be diminished as FIFA is looking into claims that defender Byron Castillo is not an Ecuadorian. Chile have lodged an official complaint saying that Castillo is actually a Colombian and therefore cannot represent Ecuador in international matches.

If Ecuador were to be banned, Chile would be the biggest beneficiary. A ban would mean that all the opponents that played against Chile would be given a 3-0 victory. This means that Ecuador's draw early this year against Chile and their 2-0 win last year in November, will be rendered null and void. Chile will then move up and take Ecuador's position.

Chile missed out on qualification

Chile finished seventh to miss out on Qatar. However, a change in fortunes could see them leapfrog Colombia in sixth and Peru in fifth and take up position four- which earns you a direct ticket in Conmebol qualifiers.

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Ecuador qualified together with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Peru, who finished fifth, are set to play an intercontinental playoff match against Australia or the United Arab Emirates next month.

Chile claim that Castillo was born in 1995 and has a Colombian birth certificate. Ecuador have, however, refuted these claims saying that the right-back was born in 1998.

The official FIFA statement, as quoted by BBC Sports read in part

Fifa has decided to open disciplinary proceedings in relation to Byron David Castillo Segura's possible breach of the call criteria for the indicated matches.

The Sun reports that Chile's lawyer Eduardo Carlezzo is surprised at the amount of evidence they have been able to collect against Ecuador.

The Ecuador Football Federation have also in the past had worries about Castillo's eligibility but cleared him last year. He went to play in eight out of the total 18 qualification matches.

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Qatar readies itself for the World Cup

Earlier, Sports Brief had given a breakdown of the Qatar national team. Qatar are set to host the FIFA World Cup later this year.

They are nicknamed the Maroons and are currently ranked in the 51st position by FIFA. The World Cup will take place from 21st November to 18th December. It will be the first-ever to be held on Arab soil.