Chile appeal closing of Castillo case, demanding Ecuador are pulled out of Qatar 2022

By Andrew Warshaw

July 29 – Despite having had their complaint rejected, Chile are not giving up in their determination to have Ecuador thrown out of this year’s World Cup and have appealed the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decision to close the eligibility case of Byron David Castillo Segura who represented Ecuador eight times during Conmebol qualifying.

Last month FIFA rejected Chile’s protests that Segura was an ineligible player. It had been widely anticipated that FIFA would discipline Ecuador but instead they closed the case after Chile disputed Castillo’s nationality.

The Chilean FA had lodged a complaint against the Ecuadorian FA (FEF) in May over what it claimed was the “use of a fake birth certificate, false declaration of age and false nationality” in the case of Castillo. It claimed to have evidence that the player is actually Colombian.

In June FIFA said that “after analysing the submissions of all parties concerned and considering all elements brought before it” it was not taking action.

But with four months to go before the World Cup finals the Chileans are appealing, saying they have proof that 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.

The Chileans say they also have a declaration signed in 2016 by Castillo to Ecuadorian prosecutors informing he had his documentation with the FEF falsified by the representatives of his first club in Ecuador (Club Norteamerica).  Resolution from the FEF’s Investigative Commission from 2018 concluding he was born in Colombia and uses a falsified Ecuadorian birth certificate.

They claim the defender, who played in eight of Ecuador’s 18 qualifying games, used a false passport and birth certificate and that they have a “resolution from the FEF’s Investigative Commission from 2018 concluding he was born in Colombia and uses a falsified Ecuadorian birth certificate.”

Chile finished seventh in South American qualifying with 19 points, missing out on a place in the finals. Ecuador qualified in fourth place but if Chile’s fresh appeal is successful, they would leapfrog Ecuador into direct World Cup qualification.

They have threatened to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary if they fail again which could prove highly awkward for FIFA. Ecuador are in Group A with Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal at the World Cup finals later this year but if Chile go all the way to CAS, it could severely complicate logistics and organisation.

Jorge Yunge, general secretary of the Chilean Football Association, said in a statement: “We are completely sure about the conclusions of our investigations.

“It is absolutely clear that the player uses an adulterated Ecuadorean document. What is at stake here is not just a place in the 2022 World Cup, but the entire principle of fair play.”

Chile’s lawyer, Eduardo Carlezzo, partner of Brazilian law firm Carlezzo Advogados, said: “We did a deep and responsible investigation. We hired investigators that went to the city of Tumaco and, on the ground, confirmed the player was born there. They went to a church in Tumaco and discovered the player’s baptism certificate, that was an unknown document until that moment, among other documents. Unbelievable, it was disregarded by the Disciplinary Committee”.

Chile say they are not the only country to have filed a complaint to FIFA and the “Peruvian FA agreed with the Chilean position and also filed an appeal to FIFA looking to replace Ecuador in the World Cup.”

Neil Eggleston, a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and former White House Counsel in the Obama administration is heading up the appeals commission with a provisional decision expected early next week.

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