World Cup 2022: The surprising stalemate that gave Chile last-minute qualifying hopes

Doubts over a player’s nationality, due to confusion in civil status documents, have suggested that Ecuador could lose its qualification for the 2022 World Cup to Chile’s side.

For several hours, Chilean fans dreamed of last-minute qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, to the detriment of Ecuador. In question: The nationality of Byron Castillo, player of Ecuadorian selection and right-back of Barcelona Sporting Club. According to a reporter, the footballer in question is actually Colombian and should not have played with coach Gustavo Alfaro’s team. Which was immediately denied.

As reported by TNT Sports Chile, the journalist at the core of the controversy relied exclusively on a document he presents to be Byron Castillo’s authentic birth certificate (despite an error in the spelling of the first name). . The photocopy of this register indicates “Colombia” in the box for the country of birth.

confusion with dead brother

Such a revelation logically called into question the qualification of Ecuador in the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. When a selection plays one or more matches with a footballer who was not allowed to play, the respective results become invalid and turn into a defeat. This is what happened to Nelson Cabrera in Bolivia in 2016, following an isolated case.

But shortly after the controversy began, Colombian radio station Blue Radio denied this information. She confirms that Byron Castillo is indeed of Ecuadorian nationality and that the suspicion stems from confusion in civilian status. According to the same source, the footballer had a brother, the deceased, named Baron Javier and, like his mother, was born in Colombia. The player himself is born in Ecuador. Chile, 7th in the qualifiers, therefore, would not have benefited, a priori, from a win on the green carpet, which would have moved them to fourth place in the standings.

So Ecuador is still in Group A of the World Cup along with Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands. Their entry into the race is scheduled against the Qataris on the first day of competition, 21 November. Contrary to tradition, this match against the host country will not open the tournament.

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