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FIFA dismisses Chile’s lawsuit, Ecuador retains World Cup spot – Sports News, Firstpost

FIFA said its Disciplinary Committee closed the case by claiming that Ecuadorian defender Byron Castillo, who played in eight qualifiers, was ineligible to play.

FIFA rejects Chile's lawsuit, Ecuador retains World Cup place

A countdown clock is set up on the beach in Doha, Qatar on March 29, 2022. The draw for the World Cup will take place in Doha on April 1st. AP

Geneva: Ecuador retained their place at Friday’s World Cup when a FIFA ruling dismissed a complaint by Chile about an allegedly ineligible player.

FIFA said its Disciplinary Committee closed the case by claiming that Ecuadorian defender Byron Castillo, who played in eight qualifiers, was ineligible to play.

The Chilean Football Federation claimed to be in possession of documents proving Castillo is in fact Colombian.

Ecuador risked losing all eight games with 3-0 defeats and falling from fourth place in the South American qualifying group that ended in March. Chile would have moved up to fourth in the standings, claiming the final automatic qualifier.

“After analyzing the submissions of all parties concerned and considering all the elements raised, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to close the case against the[Ecuadorian Football Federation],” FIFA said in a statement.

Chile can appeal the verdict before the FIFA Appeals Committee and possibly later before the Arbitration Court for Sport.

The court case could last at least several weeks, bringing uncertainty closer to the tournament, which will be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

The World Cup draw took place on April 1 and Ecuador were drawn in a group with hosts Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal.

Ecuador and Chile both last played in the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil. Ecuador didn’t make it out of the group stage and Chile were knocked out by Brazil in the round of 16.

Both missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after Chile also filed a complaint alleging that an opposing team had fielded an ineligible player.

That case – which involved Paraguayan-born Bolivian defender Nelson Cabrera – was successful but ultimately benefited Peru, who overtook Chile in the standings, made the playoffs and advanced to Russia.

Peru are back in the international playoffs next week after once again finishing fifth in the South American group. Peru meet Australia for a place in the finals in Doha on Monday.

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