FIFA reject appeal to exclude Ecuador from 2022 World Cup over Byron Castillo case with Chile and Peru set to take dispute to Court of Arbitration for Sport in last-ditch attempt

    Ecuador have avoided exclusion from the World Cup after appeals by Chile and Peru to replace them in Qatar were rejected by FIFA.

    Both nations argued that Ecuador right-back Byron Castillo was a Colombian national and therefore ineligible to play in World Cup qualifying games.

    Chile and Peru claim Byron Castillo was born in Colombia and not Ecuador


    Chile and Peru claim Byron Castillo was born in Colombia and not Ecuador

    Castillo made eight appearances for the South American nation on route to qualifying for November’s showpiece tournament in Qatar.

    But a FIFA investigation has found no wrongdoing on the part of Ecuador who are now set to head to the Gulf state.

    A Fifa statement read: “The FIFA Appeal Committee has rendered its decision on the appeals lodged by the Chilean Football Association (FFCH) and the Peruvian Football Association (FPF) against the decision issued by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on the potential ineligibility of the player Byron David Castillo Segura with regard to his participation in eight qualifying matches of the national team of the Ecuadorian Football Association (FEF) in the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

    “Having analysed the submissions of all parties and after a hearing had been conducted, the Appeal Committee confirmed the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to close the proceedings initiated against the FEF.

    “Amongst other considerations, it deemed that on the basis of the documents presented, the player was to be considered as holding permanent Ecuadorian nationality.”

    But all is not done and dusted just yet as Chile and Peru look set to appeal the verdict.

    Castillo has played 10 times for Ecuador, with eight of those coming in World Cup qualifying fixtures


    Castillo has played 10 times for Ecuador, with eight of those coming in World Cup qualifying fixtures

    They are expected to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland who can call for a hearing despite just nine weeks remaining until kick-off in Doha.

    If Chile and Peru feel their evidence against Castillo holds up then there could still be a twist in the saga.

    Under FIFA rules, if a nation fields an ineligible player, it could result in a forfeit of any match the player took part.

    If Ecuador had forfeited the eight games Castillo participated in, Chile would have climbed to fourth place in the South American Qualifying group, earning them automatic qualification for the World Cup in place of Ecuador.

    As it stands, Ecuador will play host nation Qatar in the opening game on November 20.

    Both sides make up Group A along with African champions Senegal and Netherlands.

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