Qatar vs Ecuador is confirmed as first 2022 World Cup match as Court of Arbitration for Sport reject Chile and Peru appeals about Byron Castillo

    Ecuador will definitely face Qatar in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) gave them the green light to participate.

    Chile and Peru claimed that Ecuador winger Byron Castillo had been ineligible to play in the qualifying rounds and demanded Ecuador forfeit the points they earned from matches in which they played him.

    Castillo was the player in the spotlight after turning out for Ecuador

    AFP

    Castillo was the player in the spotlight after turning out for Ecuador

    But CAS agreed with the verdict handed down in September by FIFA, which had determined that Castillo was eligible to play as he had been granted an Ecuadorian passport.

    “Since the nationality of a player with a national association is determined by national laws…Byron Castillo was eligible to play for the FEF in the preliminary round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 considering that the Ecuadorian authorities acknowledged Byron Castillo as an Ecuadorian national,” a CAS statement said.

    Ecuador will, though, get a three-point deduction at the start of the next round of World Cup qualifiers.

    They will also be forced to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (£87,710.32) for the ‘use of a document containing false information’, CAS said.

    In September, FIFA had dismissed Chile’s appeal following their original complaint of the player.

    They said Castillo was born in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995 and not in the Ecuadorean city of General Villamil Playas in 1998, as stated on his official documents.

    The start of the 2022 World Cup is under two weeks away

    GETTY

    The start of the 2022 World Cup is under two weeks away

    Castillo featured in eight of Ecuador’s qualifying matches, playing twice against Chile, as the former finished fourth in the standings.

    Peru, one the teams to complain, finished fifth in South American qualifying, missing out on the last automatic spot for Qatar.

    Chile, meanwhile, finished seventh and had hoped to get a by into the tournament which kicks-off on November 20.

    Ecuador are in Group A alongside Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands.

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