🚨 FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Ecuador over the use of an alleged ineligible player in their World Cup qualifiers — putting their place in Qatar at risk. Byron Castillo played in eight World Cup qualification games for Ecuador, including a goalless draw with Chile and a subsequent 2-0 victory, on September 5 and November 17 respectively. The world football governing body has said: “As recently confirmed by FIFA, the Chilean Football Association has lodged a complaint with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in which it made a series of allegations concerning the possible falsification of documents granting Ecuadorian nationality to the player Byron David Castillo Segura, as well as the possible ineligibility of the said player to participate in eight qualifying matches of the national team of the Ecuadorian Football Association (FEF) in the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. “Bearing the above in mind, FIFA has decided to open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the potential ineligibility of Byron David Castillo Segura with regard to the above-mentioned matches. “In this context, the FEF and the Peruvian Football Association have been invited to submit their positions to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.” The Chilean FA submitted claims that Castillo was born in Colombia and not in Ecuador, as it says on his documentation. Due to the “innumerable proofs” and “information and documents”, Chile said that the situation should be investigated by FIFA ahead of the World Cup later this year. Ecuador qualified for this year’s World Cup in March after finishing fourth in the CONMEBOL group — ahead of Chile, Colombia and Peru. In September 2016, FIFA sanctioned Bolivia for fielding an ineligible player, Nelson Cabrera, in 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Chile — who were subsequently awarded 3-0 wins. Bolivia were also fined. If the same punishment was handed down to Ecuador, Chile would take their place at the tournament. (The Athletic)
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