FIFA rejects Chile challenge to Ecuador’s World Cup qualification

Sports Desk, Jun 10 (EFE).- FIFA on Friday rejected Chile’s claim that Ecuador fielded an ineligible player during its successful qualifying run for World Cup 2022, but the Chileans vowed to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS).

The Chilean federation (ANFP) contends that Ecuadorian defender Byron David Castillo Segura was actually born in Colombia and demanded FIFA deduct points for the qualifiers in which he took part.

“After analyzing 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 FEF (Ecuadorian Football Association),” soccer’s world governing body said in a statement.

The statement said nothing about the factual basis or reasoning behind the decision.

“Sporting justice was done today, we always knew we were on the right side, let’s go Ecuador!!!,” FEF chief Francisco Egas wrote on Twitter after learning of the ruling.

Ecuador qualified directly for the World Cup by finishing fourth in the South American qualifiers, behind Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Fifth-place Peru can book their ticket to Qatar if they beat Australia next Monday in a playoff.

While Chile ended the qualification rounds in seventh place, they would have vaulted to the fourth spot if FIFA had granted their application to subtract points from Ecuador for the games including Castillo.

The defender was part of the roster for both of Ecuador’s matches against Chile.

Castillo also appeared twice against Paraguay and once against Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Argentina.

The ANFP said that Castillo presented falsified documents to the Ecuadorian court that last year confirmed his status as a native-born citizen of Ecuador.

The court certified that Castillo was born on Nov. 10, 1998, in General Villamil, Ecuador.

In Santiago, ANFP head Pablo Milad told journalists that the federation will pursue the matter before both the FIFA Appeal Committee and the Switzerland-based TAS.

“It’s a natural process, when there is supported and legal evidence. We will continue with the same force and conviction,” he said. “My feeling is that we are in the first half of a match and we are losing 1-0. The second half still remains.”

The ANFP’s counsel, Brazilian attorney Eduardo Carlezzo, said that the federation will seek to involve the TAS so as to resolve the issue before the World Cup begins in November.

Calling FIFA’s initial decision “normal,” Carlezzo said that once he receives a detailed explanation of the ruling, he will know how to craft the appeal.

“We are very sure of what we’re doing. There is no doubt that the player was born in Tumaco (Colombia) and these are serious facts,” the lawyer said. EFE


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