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FIFA probes Ecuador World Cup player’s eligibility

PARIS (AFP) – FIFA has launched disciplinary proceedings after Ecuador were alleged to have fielded an ineligible player during their successful qualifying campaign for the Qatar World Cup.

Chile, who failed to reach the showpiece in Qatar later this year, lodged a complaint with football’s world governing body alleging that Byron Castillo was not Ecuadorian and had been born in Colombia.

The football federation of Chile alleged “use of a fake birth certificate, false declaration of age and false nationality”.

The 23-year-old full back played in eight qualifiers, including both of Ecuador’s matches against Chile – a 0-0 draw in Quito in September 2021 a 2-0 victory for Ecuador in Santiago two months later.

If FIFA rule against Ecuador, those matches could be forfeited allowing Chile to leapfrog into the final qualification place for Qatar 2022.