BARRIO – Ecuador will play at the World Cup in Qatar after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed the eligibility of player Byron Castillo.
CAS issued its decision in an arbitration process on Tuesday after Chile and Peru’s football federations had appealed a FIFA verdict.
Ecuador will, however, get a three-point deduction at the start of the next round of World Cup qualifiers and will pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs ($101,605) for what CAS said was the “use of a document containing false information”.
The dispute had centred on Castillo’s eligibility to play in Ecuador’s qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar between September 2021 and March 2022.
Chile had claimed that 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.
FIFA dismissed all charges against the Ecuadorian FA on June 10 but Chile and Peru appealed to the Swiss court.
Peru, who had finished fifth in South American qualifying, had sought the exclusion of Ecuador from Qatar and wanted to replace them as best CONMEBOL runners-up. Chile sought a ruling that the eight qualifiers in which Castillo played should be forfeited, thereby placing them in a fourth-place spot that would have secured progress to the tournament.
But after a CAS hearing on November 4 and 5, a panel ruled that “no violation of the rules on eligibility has occurred”.
CAS noted that “Ecuadorian authorities acknowledged Byron Castillo as an Ecuadorian national” and said that while some information was incorrect, Castillo’s Ecuadorian passport “was indeed authentic”.
Ecuador have been drawn in Group A alongside Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands and will play the hosts when the World Cup kicks off on November 20.