Ecuador is expected to keep its spot at this year’s World Cup in Qatar since the world football governing body, Fifa has rejected the allegation of ineligibility against the country’s Byron Castillo.
The right-back was judged qualified by Fifa in June, but the football associations of Chile and Peru filed appeals.
According to the Fifa appeals committee, Castillo is now eligible to play for Ecuador.
“This is a dark day for football and for the credibility of the system,” remarked Jorge Yunge, the Chilean Football Federation’s general secretary (FFC).
Castillo represented Ecuador in eight World Cup qualifying matches, but the FFC asserted that the 23-year-old registered as an Ecuadorian using a fraudulent birth certificate.
Castillo appeared to concede that his documents are bogus and that he was actually born in Colombia in 1995 rather than the Ecuadorian city of General Villamil Playas in 1998 in an interview that was published last week by the Daily Mail.
“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,” Mr Yunge added.
“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.”
On Friday, a Fifa statement read: “On the basis of the documents presented, the player was to be considered as holding permanent Ecuadorian nationality.”
The statement also added that “the present decision remains subject to an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport”.
What Happened to Ecuador?
With one of their players shockingly confessing to using a bogus birth certificate in a formal investigation that the Ecuador Football Federation [FEF] covered up, Ecuador was on the verge of being eliminated from the World Cup.
The shocking discovery in FIFA’s investigation into the Byron Castillo issue comes days before their Appeals Commission is scheduled to rule on the subject on Thursday, and it might have changed who England will play in the round of 16 and who Qatar will face in the tournament opener.
Castillo, a right-back who made eight appearances in World Cup qualifying, was at the center of an intriguing case involving alleged phony identities and an apparent cover-up by the Ecuador Federation. It centered on whether Castillo was born in Ecuador or across the border in Colombia.
An audio clip of an interview Castillo gave to investigators four years ago has been made public by Sportsmail. In this new piece of evidence, which has shocked South American football and given FIFA enormous headaches, he Contrasts his birth year of 1995 with the year 1998 listed on his Ecuadorian birth certificate.
He gave his full name as Bayron Javier Castillo Segura, which corresponds to the information on his Colombian birth certificate, rather than the name Byron David Castillo Segura that appears on the Ecuadorian certificate.
As Ecuador made it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Byron Castillo played eight times, but new information obtained by Sportsmail shows that he admitted to being Colombian.
With Chile finishing seventh and Peru fifth in the South American qualifiers, Ecuador earned the fourth and last automatic World Cup spot.
On November 20, Ecuador is scheduled to play 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar in the tournament’s inaugural game.
In Group A, they will also compete against the Netherlands and Senegal.