Chile are planning to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to replace Ecuador at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The FIFA Appeal Committee earlier rejected their bid for the same.
Chile’s appeals have come on the grounds that Ecuador fielded an ineligible player who helped them qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Ecuador finished fourth in the South American qualification tournament for the World Cup.
Chilean officials have appealed that the player in question, Byron Castillo, was not born in Colombia. They claimed that he is also three years older than is shown in the documents that serve as proof of his Ecuadorean nationality.
FIFA rules dictate that any team fielding an ineligible player could see the game forfeited against them. Castillo appeared in eight qualifier games, which Chile now demand be treated under the aforementioned law.
As per such rules, Chilean officials have calculated that it would put them in fourth spot in place of Ecuador. This would allow them to fly out as the fourth South American team for the 2022 World Cup.
Chilean officials have submitted multiple counts of evidence – including public records, social media posts, birth certificates and baptization paperwork. They have also submitted an audio recording from a 2018 investigation in which Castillo is heard confirming details of his early life in Colombia. The same has been published by several news media outlets.
Chile’s first appeal was rejected by FIFA’s disciplinary committee in June. However, they were allowed to present their case again to a new appeals body in the same organization.
The second hearing took place via a video conference call on Thursday, September 15 but Castillo failed to join the meeting. Jorge Yungue, the general secretary of the Chilean soccer federation, said after the meeting:
“The footballing world heard a player, who helped Ecuador qualify for the tournament, admit he was born in Colombia and that he gained an Ecuadorean passport using false information. No wonder he refused to participate.”
After confirming their intent to take the matter to CAS, he further added:
“What does it say about appeal committee that, confronted with all this, still they fail to act?”
Journalist Rob Harris tweeted confirming Chile’s decision to take the matter to CAS.
“Chile confirm they’ll go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to replace Ecuador at the World Cup in Qatar: “The weight of evidence is clear & we urge the (FIFA) Appeal Committee to deliver the grounds of the decision very quickly because there were enough unjustifiable delays””
As things stand, Ecuador will face hosts Qatar in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup.
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