Chile demand Fifa AXE Ecuador from 2022 World Cup

CHILE have called on Fifa to ban Ecuador from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup – claiming they fielded an inineligible player.

It is Chile’s contention that Ecuador’s right-back Byron Castillo is actually Colombian.

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Byron Castillo (right) played eight times for Ecuador in World Cup 2022 qualificationCredit: Getty

An investigation has found a Colombian birth certificate from 1995 with the same name as Castillo and the same parents’ name, despite Ecuadorian documents stating the defender was born in 1998.

Fifa rules stipulate that playing ineligible players results in a forfeit.

If found to be true Chile want Ecuador to be stripped of the results in each of the eight qualifying games Castillo played.

That includes Ecuador’s draw against Chile and a 2-0 win last November – which put Chile on the brink of elimination.

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Lawyer Eduardo Carlezzo, who is representing the Chilean federation, said: “The level, both in quantity and quality, of the information and evidence that we have been able to collect has surprised even us.

“How could we not act with this level of evidence in hands?”

Castillo’s background has been the topic of speculation for some time with Ecuadorian officials previously holding concerns about his eligibility.

Carlos Manzur, the vice president of Ecuador’s football federation, suggested that Castillo previously was not called up due to worries about his eligibility.

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He said in March 2021: “I think it’s a matter of playing it safe, avoiding problems.

“I think he is a good player. If it were up to me, I would not have him play for the national team. I would not take that risk. I would not risk everything we are doing.”

Reports followed suggesting there were inconsistencies with Castillo’s registration but Munzo claimed they had been sorted, allowing Castillo to win his first cap against Paraguay in September.

The top four teams automatically qualify for Qatar in the Conmebol qualification, with Ecuador grabbing fourth spot.

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And although Chile finished seventh behind Peru and Colombia, Castillo did not play against those sides so only Chile could be awarded six points.

That would be enough to see them qualify for Qatar so they are eagerly awaiting Fifa’s findings.

President of the Chile Football Federation Pablo Milad told The New York Times: “We understand, based on all the information and documents collected, that the facts are too serious and must be thoroughly investigated by Fifa.

“We have always respected the fair play principals and we hope that the other federations do the same.”

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