Ecuador will take part in this year’s World Cup after FIFA rejected Chile’s claim that their South American rivals fielded an ineligible player in the qualifiers.
Chile complained to FIFA last month that Byron Castillo, who made eight World Cup qualifying appearances for Ecuador, was in fact born in Colombia and three and a half years older than him. says its documentation.
This jeopardized Ecuador‘s place at the Qatar World Cup. They finished fourth in the CONMEBOL qualifying group, ahead of Chile, Colombia and Peru.
But on Friday, FIFA issued a statement saying: “After analyzing the submissions of all parties concerned and considering all the elements presented to it, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to close the procedure initiated against the FEF. .”
FIFA added that the decision was subject to appeal.
Chile had said ‘countless evidence’ as well as ‘information and documents’ meant Ecuador and Castillo should be investigated by FIFA.
Previously, FIFA sanctioned Bolivia in 2016 for fielding an ineligible player, Nelson Cabrera, in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Chile – who went on to win 3-0.
Bolivia was also fined.
Ecuador won 14 of their 26 points in Castillo’s qualifying matches – should they be deprived of those results, they would finish second in the CONEMBOL qualifying group.
Ecuador also picked up four points from two matches against Chile in which Castillo featured. Had Chile secured 3-0 wins for both, as they did with Bolivia in 2016, that would have lifted them to 24 points – level on points with fifth-placed Peru, but above them and in last place in the World Cup by superior goal difference.
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