The Chilean Football Federation (ANFP) said last month that it had evidence that Ecuadorian Byron Castillo was born in 1995 in Tumaco, Colombia, and not in the Ecuadorian city of General Villamil Playas in 1998, according to official documents.
She claimed that the Barcelona defender from Guayaquil, who played in eight of Ecuador’s 18 qualifiers for Qatar, used a fake passport and birth certificate.
“After examining the arguments of all parties involved and taking into account all the elements brought before it, the FIFA Disciplinary Commission has decided to close the proceedings against the FEF (Ecuadorian Football Federation),” the statement said.
“This decision remains the subject of an appeal to the FIFA Appeal Board.”
Ecuador scored 14 of the 26 points in the matches played by Castillo. If he had lost points for the matches in which Castillo played, he would have missed a place in Qatar.
Ecuador is one of four South American teams that have already qualified for the World Cup final at the end of this year, along with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Peru, in fifth place, will face a dam next week.
“Sports justice has been done today,” FEF President Francisco Egas wrote on Twitter. “I always knew we were on the right side, Come on Ecuador!”
Egas also attached a letter from FIFA stating that the Disciplinary Commission had rejected the allegations and closed the disciplinary proceedings against the FEF.
Chile finished seventh in qualifying with 19 points.
However, the Chilean football federation’s lawyer, Eduardo Carlezzo, had stated that if Chile had received the points from the two matches with Ecuador in which Castillo played, he would have gone to the World Cup in their place.
“We celebrate more because we felt humiliated, we were trampled on by the Chilean federation’s big media campaign,” Egas was later quoted as saying at a news conference.
“Especially their lawyer, who presented a version that questioned the actions of the Ecuadorian football federation and also questioned the actions of our authorities.”
ANFP President Pablo Milad said they would appeal and even take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS), if necessary.
“We lost 1-0, but there is still a second half,” Milad told a news conference with Carlezzo.
“FIFA’s decision, surprisingly, did not favor us, despite strong evidence. We will wait for the arguments and appeal to FIFA. If he doesn’t favor us, we’ll go to TAS. ”
Ecuador is in Group A along with hosts Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands. The World Cup starts on November 21st.
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