PARIS: FIFA on Friday (September 16) rejected an attempt by Chile and Peru to eject Ecuador from the World Cup, where they will play the opening game against Qatar.
The complaint centered on Byron Castillo, a defender who played in eight of Ecuador’s World Cup qualifiers.
The Chilean Football Federation (FFCH) said there was evidence Castillo, who plays for Leon in Mexico, was born in Colombia in July 1995 and not in Playas, Ecuador in November 1998.
The FFCH accused “use of a forged birth certificate, wrong age and wrong nationality”.
After a hearing on Thursday, FIFA’s Appeal Committee upheld a previous decision by the Disciplinary Committee.
“On the basis of the documents provided, the player was deemed to have permanent Ecuadorian nationality,” FIFA said.
The FFCH reacted furiously, saying Castillo refused to appear at the hearing.
“This is a dark day for football and for the credibility of the system. The football world heard a player who helped Ecuador qualify for the FIFA World Cup admit that he was born in Colombia and that he had misinformed himself Ecuadorian passport. No wonder he refused to attend the FIFA hearing,” said Jorge Yunge, the FFCH Secretary General.
With just over nine weeks until the opening game on Nov. 20, either Chile or Peru can still appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“I have never seen such injustice in my entire life as a lawyer,” said Eduardo Carlezzo, the FFCH’s lawyer. “Sad day for football and for fair play. The message is clear: cheating is allowed. We will appeal to CAS.”
Ecuador finished fourth in South America’s World Cup qualifiers, securing the last automatic spot in the region.
They were drawn against Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal in the finals.
Peru finished fifth, losing a playoff to Australia.
Chile finished seventh, five points behind Ecuador. Castillo appeared in both matches between the two countries – a win for Ecuador and a draw.