Chile submits FIFA complaint over ‘ineligible’ Ecuador player

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Chile’s football federation (FFCh), which failed to qualify for the World Cup, has filed a complaint with FIFA alleging that Ecuador, which did, fielded an ineligible player in qualifying matches.

According to the FFCh, full-back Byron Castillo was born in Colombia rather than Ecuador.

It filed a complaint with FIFA alleging “fake birth certificates, false declarations of age, and false nationality.”

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Castillo, 23, appeared in both of Ecuador’s matches against Chile, winning 2-0 in Quito in September 2021 and drawing 0-0 in November 2021.

Chile finished seventh in the single South American World Cup qualification table, seven points behind Ecuador, which secured Qatar’s fourth and final automatic berth.

Chile could leapfrog into a qualification position if FIFA accepts the challenge and awards the two matches to Chile.

Eduardo Carlezzo, a lawyer for the FFCh, told Television Nacional de Chile that the Ecuadoran federation was aware of Castillo’s Colombian birth certificate and that proof had been sent to FIFA.

Castillo was “duly registered with the competent legal authority” and had “all valid national documents,” according to Ecuador’s FEF federation.

A player cannot represent a country for which they do not have nationality under FIFA rules.

According to Chile’s complaint, Castillo was born on July 25, 1995, in Colombia, rather than November 10, 1998, in Ecuador.

Castillo played for Ecuador at the under-17 and under-20 levels before graduating to the full national team in September 2021, making his debut and appearing in eight World Cup qualifiers.

Ecuador won four of the matches, drew two, and lost two.

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Castillo began his career with Ecuador’s Norte America and is now a member of Barcelona SC, the country’s biggest club.

According to the FIFA submission, Norte America “is the epicentre of fake documents for players.”

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