Chile submits FIFA complaint over ‘ineligible’ Ecuador player
The football federation of Chile (FFCh), which failed to qualify for the World Cup, has lodged a complaint with FIFA against Ecuador, which did make the cut, for allegedly fielding an ineligible player in qualifying matches.
The FFCh said full-back Byron Castillo was not, in fact, Ecuadoran, but was born in Colombia.
It lodged a claim with FIFA over the alleged “use of a fake birth certificate, false declaration of age and false nationality.”
Castillo, 23, played in both Ecuador’s matches against Chile — a 2-0 victory in Quito in September 2021 and a 0-0 draw in November.
Chile finished seventh in the single South American World Cup qualification table, seven points behind Ecuador in the fourth and final automatic berth for Qatar.
If FIFA were to accept the challenge and award the two matches to Chile, they could leapfrog into a qualification position.
The FFCh’s lawyer Eduardo Carlezzo told Television Nacional de Chile the Ecuadoran federation knew that Castillo held a Colombian birth certificate, and said proof has been sent to FIFA.
But Ecuador’s FEF federation insisted in a statement that Castillo was “duly registered with the competent legal authority” and had “all valid national documents.”
Under FIFA rules, a player cannot represent a country of which they do not hold nationality.
Chile’s complaint claims that Castillo was born in Colombia on July 25, 1995, and not in Ecuador on November 10, 1998.
Castillo represented Ecuador at both under-17 and under-20 level before graduating to the full national team, making his debut in September 2021 and playing in eight World Cup qualifiers.
Ecuador won four, drew two and lost two of those matches.
Castillo began his career at Ecuadorans Norte America and now plays for the country’s giants Barcelona SC.
Carlezzo said the submission to FIFA showed that Norte America “is the epicenter of fake documents for players.”