Chile World Cup
Photo: AP News

Conmebol World Cup qualifiers are full of incredible stories. At first, health officials stormed out of the Conmebol World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina and closed the match, but on Wednesday FIFA announced a move that would be better if it developed at the top.

The governing body of Soccer has announced that it has launched an investigation by the Chilean FA into allegations that a player from the Ecuadorian national team Colombia was fielded. The professional in question is 23-year-old right-back Byron Castillo. Chile complained that Castillo was not born in Ecuador, and as a result, did not qualify to represent Gustavo Alfaro in the World Cup qualifiers.

FIFA statement here:

According to a recent confirmation by FIFA, the Chilean Football Association has filed a complaint with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, alleging that player Byron David Castillo Segura was involved in a possible forgery of a document granting Ecuadorian nationality, as well as possible disqualification. Among the Ecuadorian Football Association (FEF) national team’s eight qualifiers in the preliminary round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

With the above in mind, FIFA has decided to open disciplinary action against Byron David Castillo Segura for potentially disqualifying matches. In this regard, the FEF and the Peruvian Football Association have been invited to submit their positions to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

More details will be followed accordingly.

If Ecuador field an unqualified player or take part in aiding and abetting document forgery, a potentially substantial penalty awaits. Ecuador has already qualified for the 2022 World Cup after an exceptional campaign, but Chile wants Ecuador’s place based on what they believe to be true about Castillo.

Why will Chile get a place in the World Cup?

At first glance, it would seem unreasonable for Chile to expect Qatar to qualify for the World Cup in November based on Ecuador’s theoretical incompetence. Here was the final position in South America, where the top four would go to Qatar and the fifth place would go to an intercontinental playoff.

PLAYED W D L GF GA +/1 P
1 Brazil 17 14 3 0 40 5 35 45
2 Argentina 17 11 6 0 27 8 19 39
3 Uruguay 18 8 4 6 22 22 0 28
4 Ecuador 18 7 5 6 27 19 8 26
5 Peru 18 7 3 8 19 22 -3 24
6 Colombia 18 5 8 5 20 19 1 23
7 Chile 18 5 4 9 19 26 -7 19
8 Paraguay 18 3 7 8 12 26 -14 16
9 Bolivia 18 4 3 11 23 42 -19 15
10 Venezuela 18 3 1 14 14 34 -20 10

It looks like if Ecuador disqualify Peru from taking their place, Colombia will move to fifth place and go to the playoffs. Chile are in seventh place, four points behind current sixth-placed Colombia. However, if Ecuador are not simply disqualified, FIFA will forcibly confiscate the eight matches that Castillo played in their place, including two against Chile, and they will end up in fourth place.

It looks like if Ecuador disqualify Peru from taking their place, Colombia will move to fifth place and go to the playoffs. Chile is in seventh place, four points behind current sixth-ranked Colombia. However, if Ecuador is not simply disqualified, FIFA will forcibly confiscate Castillo eight matches played in their place, including two against Chile, and they will be in fourth place.

The Chilean Affair is Murky

So, will Chile’s appeal be successful? It’s a complicated situation. On the one hand, it seems that Castillo’s official documentation has long been a question mark around it. The 2015 clubs had enough questions about the authenticity of his documents that they refused to complete a transfer for him, although these questions related to his age rather than his place of birth. Before calling him to the national team, the Ecuadorian legal system conducted its own investigation, insisting that he was actually qualified.

More complicated is the possibility that Chile is confusing Byron with his old annoying Byron, however. According to ESPN, Byron’s older brother Byron, who died, was born in Colombia and younger Castillo was an Ecuadorian. However, FIFA must now move on to the situation and make a decision that will allow South American teams to travel to Qatar long after the qualifiers on the pitch.

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