Ecuador ‘Set To Be Kicked Out Of The World Cup And Replaced By Chile’
Published 11:46, 09 June 2022 BST
| Last updated 20:47, 09 June 2022 BST
Ecuador are reportedly set to be expelled from the World Cup over claims they fielded an ineligible player in qualifying for Qatar.
Ecuador’s FA is being investigated by FIFA over allegations that defender Byron Castillo falsified his birth documents and is actually Colombian.
Chile claim to have proof 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 documents.
A new report from Mundo Deportivo, reported by the Daily Mail, claims FIFA is ready to expel Ecuador after concluding its investigation, with an official announcement to be made within days.
Ecuador booked their spot at the World Cup in Qatar after finishing fourth in South American qualifying.
Chile, meanwhile, failed to qualify after finishing seventh – two places below fifth place Peru in the intercontinental play-off spot, with Colombia also missing out on the tournament after coming sixth.
In addition to Colombia and Chile, the report claims that Italy also have a faint hope of qualifying for the World Cup if FIFA decide to expel Ecuador.
Italy failed to qualify for the tournament after losing to North Macedonia in a play-off in March.
However, the European champions could be handed a place at the tournament if FIFA award Ecuador’s place to the team with the highest world ranking.
Italy are currently sixth in the rankings, with Colombia 17th and Chile 28th.
Eduardo Carlezzo, a lawyer representing Chile, has called on FIFA to inflict the “harshest sanction” on Ecuador.
“Chilean soccer is clear that a serious offense has been committed by the player (Byron Castillo),” Carlezzo told radio ADN.
“We have no doubt, with the documentation we have in hand, that he is Colombian. We have a narrative that has a beginning, a middle and an end.
“I’m sure that FIFA has knowledge and the need to speed up this very quickly. For this week we expect a demonstration.
“The Civil Registry of Ecuador declares in a legal ruling, which we have and that we sent to FIFA, that Castillo’s departure certificate does not exist; and, if it doesn’t exist, it’s fake.
“We cannot validate that a Federation accepts and validates a crime. They deserve the harshest sanction from FIFA.”
FIFA rules state that teams must forfeit a match 3-0 if they field an ineligible player.
In qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Bolivia forfeited two matches after playing Paraguay-born defender Nelson Cabrera.
SPORTbible has contacted the Ecuadorian FA for comment.