Chilean Football Association appealed FIFA’s decision to dismiss their complaint that Ecuador’s Byron Castillo was born in Colombia, and not in Ecuador.
FIFA is set to hold an appeal hearing on the case of an Ecuador player that Chile claims took part in a World Cup 2022 qualifier while being ineligible.
The hearing will take place on Thursday.
The Chilean Football Association appealed FIFA’s decision on June 10 to dismiss their complaint that Ecuador’s Byron Castillo was born in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995 and not in the Ecuadorean city of General Villamil Playas in 1998 as stated on his official documents.
Castillo played in eight of Ecuador’s 18 qualifying games for the Qatar World Cup.
Ecuador have denied that the player was ineligible.
Here is what we know about the case:
What is Chile’s claim?
A legal dispute flared on May 4 when Chile challenged Ecuador’s place at the World Cup over the alleged ineligible player.
The Chilean football federation asked FIFA to investigate the claim that Castillo is Colombian and hence not entitled to have played in qualifying games.
Chile claimed Castillo was born in Tumaco, Colombia, in 1995 and not in the Ecuadorean city of General Villamil Playas in 1998, as stated on his official documents.
Chile has claimed to have documents supporting the accusation.
The complaint came more than a month after the South American qualifying match ended and Ecuador was drawn into a group with host nation Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal.
What have FIFA and Ecuador said?
On June 10, FIFA issued a legal ruling rejecting Chile’s complaint.
“After analysing the submissions of all parties concerned and considering all elements brought before it, the FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to close the proceedings initiated against the [Ecuador football federation],” it said.
The Chilean FA appealed the decision on July 1.
Ecuador has said Castillo is “an Ecuadorian citizen for all legal purposes, in the civil sphere and in sports, being duly registered in the competent national authority and having all the national documentation in order”.
The Ecuadorian federation also described Chile’s statements as “unfounded rumours” with “the clear objective of destabilising the federation.”
FIFA Disciplinary Committee passes decision on eligibility of Byron David Castillo Segura
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 10, 2022
What happens if Chile’s claim is accepted?
Castillo has played in eight World Cup qualifying games.
If proven right, Ecuador could be forced to forfeit all eight games as 3-0 losses and drop from fourth place in the South American qualifying group.
If this happens, Chile would rise to fourth in the standings and claim the automatic qualification place.
Has something similar happened before?
In 2018, the Bolivian Football Association was sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the preliminary competition matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
That case – involving Bolivia defender Nelson Cabrera, who was born in Paraguay – was filed by Chile and ultimately benefitted Peru, which rose above Chile in the standings to reach the playoffs and advance to Russia.