Ecuador is going to the World Cup, again, on the field the Tricolor finished fourth in the Conmebol World Cup qualifying, but an issue on the possible place of birth of Byron Castillo led to a full blown investigation that almost cost them their spot in the World Cup.
The Chilean soccer federation had brought up that Castillo may have been born in Colombia and not Playas, Ecuador but in their search to prove wrongdoing they may have missed that Castillo’s nationality was disputed and proven only a year earlier.
In 2019 the Barcelona defender was under investigation for adulterating his birth documentation but eventually in April of 2021 it was determined that Castillo was indeed Ecuadorian.
FIFA statement on Ecuador’s Byron Castillo
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has rendered its decision in relation to the potential ineligibility of the player Byron David Castillo Segura with regard to his participation 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™.
After analyzing the submissions of all parties concerned and considering all elements brought before it, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to close the proceedings initiated against the FEF.
The Disciplinary Committee’s findings were notified today to the parties concerned. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the parties have ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com. The present decision remains subject to an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
Ecuador can finally look towards the World Cup as they will be in Group A with host nation Qatar, Netherlands, and Senegal.