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Who is Ecuador's Byron Castillo? Fifa World Cup ban situation explained

Chris Stonadge

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Who is Ecuador's Byron Castillo? Fifa World Cup ban situation explained

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Ecuador are in serious jeopardy of being kicked out of this winter’s FIFA World Cup as new evidence has emerged of them fielding an ineligible player.

Byron Castillo, 23, plays for Liga MX side Leon, and has ten caps for the Ecuadorian national side, who qualified for the event in Qatar this winter.

Eight of those came in the South American side’s qualifying campaign, in which they finished fourth in the standings behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

They beat Peru by two points, with Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia and Venezuela all missing out.

However, Castillo’s history could put that in doubt. There have been revelations that he falsified his birth documents, and actually heralds from Colombia.

Chile made a complaint to world football governing body FIFA after Ecuador qualified for the 2022 edition of the tournament, and now Castillo’s presence at FIFA HQ in Zurich is required for a hearing. 

The organisation had originally dismissed the Chilean FA’s complaints in June, ruling that he was born in Ecuador, but now wants to reopen the case after new findings from Marca.

The Spanish newspaper found a Colombian birth certificate consistent with Castillo, showing new evidence to the jury that may sway their decision.

The Mail also published an Ecuadorian Football Federation Investigative Commission recording of an interview with Castillo four years ago, in which he stated he was born in 1995 and not 1998, as stated by his Ecuadorian birth certificate.

In this, he also confirmed his real name was Bayron Javier Castillo Segura - consistent with the Colombian birth certificate, and that he crossed into Ecuador to find more footballing opportunities.

“I crossed the border because, you know, teams from Tumaco play in San Lorenzo,” Castillo explained.

“I went to do some trials in San Lorenzo, I remember that very well. I never got picked for any of the teams at those trials, but my friend who was picked never turned up so I went instead.”

Castillo was also dismissed from a former club Emelec in 2015 due to issues and inconsistencies with his nationality. 

If the ruling is in favour of Chile, they would be granted two 3-0 wins in place of their defeats to Ecuador and take their place in the World Cup in the winter following recent FIFA precedent.


Topics: Football World Cup

Chris Stonadge
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