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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Chile files legal challenge over Ecuador’s World Cup venue

ZURICH ( Associated Press) – A World Cup legal dispute erupted on Thursday after Chile challenged Ecuador’s place in the finals over an alleged ineligible player.

The Chilean football federation asked FIFA to investigate its claim that Ecuadorian player Byron Castillo is in fact Colombian and not entitled to play in qualifying games.

The complaint came more than a month after South American qualifying ended, and Ecuador was drawn into a group with host countries Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal.

“FIFA can confirm that it has received a formal complaint from the Chilean FA regarding this matter,” the football governing body said in a statement.

FIFA did not give a timetable for a possible disciplinary case ahead of the World Cup starting on 21 November.

Ecuador is fourth in the 10-nation South American qualifying group to advance directly to Qatar. Fifth-placed Peru have a playoff game against Australia or the United Arab Emirates next month.

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Chile placed seventh, seven points behind Ecuador, but they argue it can move on if the games involving Castillo are forfeited.

FIFA’s rules in cases of ineligible players need to be reversed in the form of a 3–0 loss.

football federation of ecuador issued a statement Rejecting Chile’s claims and insisting that Castillo is legally a citizen of Ecuador.

Chile has now filed a complaint against an opponent’s player in successive World Cup qualifying events.

In South American qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Bolivia lost two games in which it fielded an ineligible player as a late substitute. FIFA had received complaints from Chile and Peru about Bolivian defender Nelson Cabrera, who was born in Paraguay and previously played for the Paraguay national team.

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Bolivia loses appeal At the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which said it was right to investigate FIFA, even though a protest was filed weeks after the games were played. That case eventually harmed Chile. Three extra points awarded to Peru lifted it above Chile to enter an intercontinental playoff which it won.

FIFA has written stringent rules for the 2022 World Cup that require all players in qualifying games to produce a “valid permanent international passport” for inspection by match officials.

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