Ecuador keeps its spot in the World Cup after FIFA denied Chile’s complaint

 Ecuador kept its place at the World Cup on Friday when a FIFA legal ruling rejected a complaint by Chile about an alleged ineligible player.

FIFA said that the case against Ecuador defender Byron Castillo, who played in eight qualifying games, was closed by its disciplinary committee.

The Chilean soccer federation said they had proof that Castillo is actually from Colombia.

Ecuador risked losing all eight games by 3-0 scores and falling from fourth place in the South American qualifying group that ended in March. Chile would have moved up to fourth place in the standings and won the last automatic spot.

FIFA said in a statement, “After looking at all the evidence and hearing from all the parties involved, the FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to end the case against the Ecuador soccer federation.”

Chile can appeal the decision to FIFA’s appeals committee and, if necessary, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the future.

The legal process could take at least a few weeks, making the tournament in Qatar from November 21 to December 18 even less certain.

On April 1, the groups for the World Cup were picked, and Ecuador was put in a group with the host country, Qatar, the Netherlands, and Senegal.

Both Ecuador and Chile played in the 2014 World Cup, which was held in Brazil. Ecuador didn’t make it out of the group stage, and Brazil knocked Chile out in the Round of 16.

Both teams didn’t make it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia because Chile also filed a complaint saying a rival team played a player who wasn’t eligible.

That case, which involved Nelson Cabrera, a Bolivian defender who was born in Paraguay, was successful, but in the end, it helped Peru, which moved ahead of Chile in the standings to make the playoffs and go to Russia.

Peru will be in the international playoffs again next week because they finished fifth in the South American group for the second time. On Monday in Doha, Peru will play Australia to see who gets to go to the finals.

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