SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) — Chile’s claim to FIFA for “false nationality” of Byron Castillo, a player for the Ecuadorian national team, has merit, said Argentine Eduardo Berizzo, the new coach of the Chilean national team, on Monday.
Chile, which failed in the South American qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar and placed seventh with 19 points, denounced Ecuador before FIFA at the beginning of May for what it described as a “false nationality” of Castillo.
Berizzo, who replaced the Uruguayan Martín Lasarte, was officially presented by the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP).
When asked at a press conference about the Chilean complaint, the 52-year-old ex-soccer player replied that “I think the claim for the Byron Castillo case has substance and it has been done for a reason.”
“When Ecuador-Paraguay happened, there were comments about that situation,” he added. “I remember hearing a story, but it didn’t go beyond that.”
Before arriving on the bench of the “Red”, Berizzo had no team after being dismissed by the Paraguayan team in October as a result of a win in the qualifiers that left Paraguay out of this year’s World Cup.
FIFA admitted the Chilean claim, but has not yet ruled. If Ecuador is punished with the withdrawal of points, it will open the way for Chile to Qatar. The Ecuadorians qualified fourth in the South American qualifiers.
“I will work more intensely if the “Red” goes to the World Cup, but I am very happy,” said Berizzo.
“There are two scenarios: Going to the World Cup in Qatar, which would speed things up, and the other, which is trying to get to the other World Cup,” he said, alluding to a possible renewal of the “golden generation,” a pillar of the Chilean team made up of figures like Alexis Sánchez (34 years old), Gary Medel (35), Claudio Bravo (38), Charles Aránguiz (32) and Arturo Vidal (34), who will hardly be considered for the next World Cup project.
“I would not separate footballers by age, the national team is reached by performance, we will need everyone, an absolute commitment… We are going to pay attention to many young footballers who have continuity, they will be constantly with us”, he declared.
In the short term, the Argentine will accompany the Chilean team that is preparing to play in Asia, with a match against South Korea on June 6 to then join the Kirin Cup, a friendly tournament in Japan.