Nation due to play Qatar World Cup opener could be kicked out – media
Ecuador could still be booted out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup after new evidence emerged in the fake identity scandal surrounding defender Byron Castillo, according to a report in the UK.
The Daily Mail claims to have proof which shows that Castillo, who featured in eight games during Ecuador’s World Cup qualifying campaign, was actually born in Colombia and that the Ecuadorian football authorities were allegedly involved in a cover-up.
FIFA has already responded to a complaint from Chile – who stand to replace Ecuador in Qatar if their South American rivals are removed from the tournament – but said back in June that it had closed proceedings against the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF).
According to Sportsmail, FIFA’s Appeals Commission is due to discuss Castillo’s case again on Thursday.
The news outlet claims to have evidence from an investigation carried out by the FEF in 2018, in which right-back Castillo allegedly admits to being born in 1995 in Tumaco, Colombia, as opposed to Ecuadorian documents which state he was born in their country in 1998.
It is claimed that Castillo crossed the border with the help of an Ecuadorian businessman, who provided him with a new identity.
It is also alleged by Sportsmail that Ecuadorian football officials appeared to cover up the knowledge from their own investigations.
The claims could have major repercussions for the World Cup, where the Ecuadorians have been drawn in Group A alongside hosts Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands, and will be making what is their fourth World Cup appearance in their history.
Ecuador and Qatar will open the tournament on November 20, in a game which was recently moved forward by one day at the request of the hosts.
After FIFA’s initial verdict in their favor in June, FEF president Francisco Egas had triumphantly proclaimed that “sporting justice has been done.”
“We always knew we were on the right side, let’s go Ecuador!” tweeted Egas, sharing a letter from FIFA informing him of its decision.
Egas and his compatriots may now face another anxious wait on their World Cup participation, if reports are to be believed.