According to the schedule, the World Cup will start with the Qatar-Ecuador match on November 20. However, there was a thread of uncertainty about whether Ecuador will be able to play in the World Cup or not. Finally, 12 days before the start of the World Cup, the uncertainty has been removed. Ecuador is not barred from playing in the World Cup in Qatar. The International Court of Sports (CAS) has deemed Byron Castillo, the Ecuadorian player who Chile objected to in the World Cup qualifiers, to be an Ecuadorian citizen.
Ecuador will have to pay a fine even if it is not barred from playing in the World Cup. Ecuador is to be deducted 3 points in 2026 World Cup qualifiers for ‘the use of documents containing false information Apart from this, the country has been fined 1 lakh Swiss francs. The Supreme Court of Sports or ‘The Court of Arbitration for Sports’ (CAS) said that this decision was made based on the Ecuadorian authorities recognizing Castillo as a citizen of the country.
Castillo played 8 matches for Ecuador in World Cup qualifiers
Castillo played 8 matches for Ecuador in World Cup qualifiers. 2 of these matches were against Chile. Chile complained to FIFA that Castillo played in World Cup qualifiers using a fake passport and birth certificate. The Chilean Football Federation alleged that Castillo was not born in Ecuador, but in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995. On the other hand, Ecuador claimed that Castillo was born in Ecuador in 1998.
Chile first took its complaint to FIFA. After analyzing the data, FIFA decided to close the investigation against the Ecuadorian Football Federation on June 10. Chile later appealed to FIFA’s appeals division. Their application was also rejected on September 16. Then Chile went to the Supreme Court of Sports with the same claim. Peru joins them, Peru finished fifth in the South American qualifiers.
Peru was hoping to get a chance as the next-placed team, who qualified for the World Cup in fourth place, was eliminated.
However, the sports court rejected the applications of Peru and Chile. The CAS said Castillo’s Ecuadorian passport documents contained false information, but the passport was correct. In the World Cup, Ecuador will play against Senegal and the Netherlands along with Qatar in Group A.