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Ecuador to retain world cup place as FIFA dismisses claims – Sporting Life

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Ecuador are set to retain their place at this year’s World Cup in Qatar after Fifa dismissed a claim of ineligibility against their player Byron Castillo.

Fifa deemed in June that the right-back is eligible but the Chile and Peru football associations lodged appeals.

Now Fifa’s appeals committee has said that Castillo does qualify for Ecuador.

“This is a dark day for football and for the credibility of the system,” said Jorge Yunge, general secretary of the Football Federation of Chile (FFC).

Castillo played in eight World Cup qualifiers for Ecuador but the FFC claimed the 23-year-old used a false birth certificate to register as Ecuadorian.

Last week the Daily Mail published details of an interview with Castillo in which he appears to admit that his documents are fake and that he was born in Colombia in 1995, rather than the Ecuadorian city of General Villamil Playas in 1998.

“The footballing world heard a player who helped Ecuador qualify for the Fifa World Cup admit he was born in Colombia and that he gained an Ecuadorian passport using false information,” Yunge added.

READ ALSO Castillo saga: Ecuador face disqualification from World cup 

“No wonder he refused to participate in the Fifa hearing. What does it say about the appeals committee that confronted with all this still they fail to act?

“The weight of evidence is clear and we urge the appeals committee to deliver the grounds of the decision very quickly.”

A Fifa statement on Friday said: “On the basis of the documents presented, the player was to be considered as holding permanent Ecuadorian nationality.”

It added that “the present decision remains subject to an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport”.

The FFC confirmed it will appeal, with its lawyer Eduardo Carlezzo saying: “I have never seen in my entire life as a lawyer an injustice like this one.

“There are a huge number of documents that, alone, prove without any reasonable doubt that the player was born in Colombia.

“In addition to that, everyone heard his confession, given during an official investigation carried by the Ecuadorian Federation.”

He added: “It’s a sad day for football and for fair play. The message is clear: cheating is allowed.”

Ecuador claimed the fourth and final automatic World Cup place from the South American qualifiers, with Peru fifth and Chile seventh in the standings.

Ecuador are due to play hosts Qatar in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup on 20 November.

They will also face the Netherlands and Senegal in Group A.

 

 

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