Ecuador ‘to be kicked out of World Cup’ as lawyer claims player ‘faked birth certificate’

Wales fans celebrate World Cup qualification in Cardiff

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Ecuador will reportedly be banned from this year’s World Cup in Qatar as a lawyer claims that one of their players, Byron Castillo, has falsified documents and is actually Colombian. An official FIFA statement is allegedly poised to emerge in the coming days which will announce Chile as their replacements, despite finishing outside the qualifying spots. 

According to TV Azteca, Eduardo Carlezzo, the lawyer representing Chile in an ongoing court case on the matter, claims that his investigation has uncovered an illegitimate birth certificate for Castillo. 

Fingerprints are supposedly absent from Castillo’s document, which claims that he was born in Ecuador, and Chile have accused the player of ‘rigging’ the process. If FIFA agree with the lawyer’s findings – which the report suggests will be the case – Ecuador may be deducted every point acquired in the eight qualifying matches that Castillo took part in. 

Such a deduction would see Ecuador tumble down to the bottom of their qualifying group, bumping Chile up to fourth in the process. Peru, meanwhile, would be unaffected and they are set to face Australia in a decisive play-off next week.

“The parents were married in Tumaco [Colombia], Byron was born in Tumaco and was baptized in Tumaco,” stated Carlezzo. “The idea of ​​being here is to present in a fairly clear and transparent way all the arguments we have, the documents we have. What we have collected from the process in the case. Whoever speaks the truth cannot be afraid.” 

Castillo, a right-back by trade, only recently became a regular at international level but featured prominently in Ecuador’s World Cup qualifying campaign. The 23-year-old has played for Barcelona Sporting Club, a top-flight Ecuadorian side, since 2017. 

Being expelled from this year’s tournament, which is being held in Qatar this winter, would be heartbreaking for the nation having qualified for just the second time since 2006. Chile may now get the chance to compete at their third World Cup finals in the last four attempts, having failed to make the cut last time out in Russia. 

In the absence of an official statement, Ecuador are still technically due to face hosts Qatar on the opening day this November. But Chile may yet take their place, offering the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Ben Brereton Diaz the chance to complete in a group also containing the Netherlands and Senegal. 

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