Because of doubts about the origin of national player Byron Castillo, Ecuador even had to worry about participating in the World Cup. The association has now removed Castillo from the squad – probably also for fear of further sanctions.
Because of Castillo’s commitment in the World Cup qualifier, Ecuador had even threatened to be excluded from the tournament in Qatar, which begins on November 20th. Chile and Peru, who finished behind Ecuador in qualifying for the World Cup and missed out on participating in the tournament in Qatar, had gone to the Cas International Court of Arbitration for Sport and sued Ecuador’s participation in the World Cup because they questioned Castillo’s eligibility to play.
Controversy over the origins of Byron Castillo
According to the Chilean federation, Castillo is said to have given false information about his place and date of birth. Accordingly, the right-back is said to have been born in Colombia and not in Ecuador. In addition, he is actually three years older than stated. Castillo’s side, the Spanish sports newspaper AS reported, is said to have explained the allegations, among other things, that he had a brother who was born in Colombia, who has since died.
Apparently, the complaint also had the aim that FIFA should retrospectively count the eight World Cup qualifiers in which Castillo was involved as victories for the respective opponents of Ecuador. With that, Ecuador would have lost its place in the World Cup and Chile could have moved up.
No suspension of participation in the World Cup, but punishment for Ecuador
The case finally ended up before the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled that Ecuador was allowed to start in Qatar. However, since the Ecuadorian association FEF violated Article 21 of the FIFA regulations by using a document with false information, a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs was imposed. In addition, Ecuador will start the next World Cup qualifier with a deduction of three points. Accordingly, the information on Castillo’s date and place of birth should not correspond to the truth.
The FEF association had always stated that it was not aware of any guilt – but now apparently feared possible further consequences. The FEF said the non-nomination was due to concerns about the legality of Castillo’s passport. Ecuador will play the World Cup opening game against hosts Qatar next Sunday (November 20th, 2022).