Last week the Chilean soccer federation filed a formal complaint to FIFA over the inclusion of Barcelona SC right back Byron Castillo in key World Cup qualification matches. In the complaint the Chileans cited that Byron Castillo was wrongfully included in Ecuador’s list of players given the fact that the player could have been born in Tumaco, Colombia, a city that borders Ecuador.
Since then, the Chilean federation is expecting a full investigation from FIFA for a player who has had issues over his nationality before. In 2017 Castillo had to be separated from the Ecuador U-20 squad over the same issue, the player was accused then of altering his birth documentation.
In 2021 Ecuador believed the situation to have been clarified and Castillo was capped a total of 8 times during World Cup qualification. Now once again Chilean soccer officials have raised serious concerns over Byron Castillo’s true nationality and the matter has been taken to FIFA.
FIFA statement on Byron Castillo
The FIFA statement on the matter, which was issued on Wednesday, stated: As recently confirmed by FIFA, the Chilean Football Federation has filed a complaint with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, in which it presents various allegations about the possible falsification of documents that grant Ecuadorian nationality to the player Byron David Castillo Segura, as well as the possible non-compliance of said footballer with the call criteria to participate with the national team of the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) in eight qualifying matches, corresponding to the preliminary phase of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
In view of the foregoing, FIFA has decided to open disciplinary proceedings in relation to Byron David Castillo Segura's possible breach of the call criteria for the indicated matches. In this context, the FEF and the Peruvian Football Federation have been invited to present their positions before the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
While FIFA has yet to indicate what type of punishment Ecuador and the player will receive, there has been growing rumors that Ecuador could be expelled from the 2022 World Cup entirely. It is Chile’s intent to take Ecuador’s place in the tournament and have push the hardest over other South American nations to investigate the matter.
Ecuador finished 4th in qualifying and have since been drawn into Group A with Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands. Ecuador is slated to play Qatar’s first game of the tournament and have begun preparations for the big event.