Ecuador drop Colombian-born Castillo from Qatar squad ‘to avoid future problems’

November 14 – In an ironic twist, Byron Castillo, the player at the centre of the bitter, long-running dispute over his World Cup eligibility, has been left out of Ecuador’s squad for the finals tournament.

Last week, Chile’s protracted appeal to have Ecuador thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player was rejected at the 11th hour by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Chile, joined in their protest by Peru, had argued that the eight games in which Castillo played in World Cup qualifying should have the results awarded to Ecuador’s opponents. This would have meant Chile qualifying at Ecuador’s expense.

The CAS ruling means Ecuador will line up as planned against Qatar in Sunday’s World Cup opener – but Castillo will not be a part of it “in order to avoid future problems”, according to Ecuador’s Ambassador in Qatar, Pascual Del Cioppo.

“Unfortunately Byron Castillo will not travel. It would be the icing on the cake for him to come and score a goal but the information we have is that he will not be coming to Qatar.”

The ambassador’s comments came before Castillo was injured in a friendly against Iraq in Madrid.

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