May 6 – Chile have filed a claim with FIFA, questioning Ecuador’s World Cup spot over the eligibility of player Byron Castillo, alleging he used a false passport and birth date to represent the country.
The Chileans, in a story first reported by the New York Times, have said they have proof that Barcelona defender Castillo was born in Colombia in 1995 and not in the Ecuadorean city of General Villamil Playas in 1998 as stated on his official papers.
“All this is obviously well known by the FEF (Ecuadorean Federation),” said the Chilean Football Federation in a statement.
“The football world cannot close its eyes to so much proof. These serious and irregular practices in the registration of players cannot be accepted, especially when we are talking about a world competition.”
Chile has now asked FIFA to look into the matter, but the Ecuadorian FA dismissed the claims, writing in a statement: “We must be emphatic [and state] that Byron Castillo is Ecuadorean for all legal effects.”
Castillo played in eight of Ecuador’s 18 matches in South America’s marathon World Cup qualifiers. Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador qualified for the Qatar World Cup whereas Chile finished seventh with 19 points.
“Chile should get the points and thus move into fourth place,” said the lawyer of the Chilean Football Federation Carlezzo. “The amount of proof we have is incredible.”
It’s the second consecutive time that Chile are involved in a dispute that could have far-reaching consequences. In the lead-up to the Russia World Cup, Bolivia were punished for fielding an ineligible player against both Chile and Peru, which allowed the Peruvians to qualify for their first World Cup since 1982.
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