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Ecuador are at serious risk of being booted out of this year's World Cup after audio and documents proved right-back Byron Castillo admitted to using a false birth certificate.
After Ecuador qualified for the showpiece in Qatar, the Chilean FA lodged an official complaint to FIFA in April and claimed that Castillo falsified his birth documents and was an illegal immigrant.
They claim to have proof that Castillo was actually born in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995, and not in the Ecuadorian city of General Villamil Playas in 1998, which is what his official documents say.
FIFA looked into the matter and dismissed the case from Chile and ruled that Castillo is from Ecuador.
However, the Daily Mail have now published a detailed report which appears to prove that Castillo is Colombian and the whole thing was covered up.
🇪🇨 Ecuador are to be 'kicked out' of the Qatar World Cup, according to @MattHughesDM. New evidence shows that Byron Castillo used a false birth certificate to represent the country.#BHAFC's Sarmiento, Estupinan and Caicedo will find out if they will be disqualified on Thursday.— Charlie Parker-Turner (@CParkerTurner) September 12, 2022
In an audio recording, taken from an interview he did with the head of the FEF's Investigative Commission in December 2018, Castillo confirmed he was born in 1995 and 1998 and talked about leaving Tumaco for San Lorenzo in Ecuador to further his football career.
He explained: "I crossed the border because, you know, teams from Tumaco play in San Lorenzo.
"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."
Extracto de la Confesión de Byron Castillo.— 👀 Paulo 👀 🅿️+1️⃣0️⃣ (@PaulinhOpina) September 12, 2022
La obtuvo el Daily Mail 👀👂 pic.twitter.com/jmZIeO5cQm
The name on his Ecuadorian birth certificate reads, 'Byron David Castillo Segura', when he actually gave his full name as 'Bayron Javier Castillo Segura' - which matches his Colombian documentation - after he was asked for his real names.
Reports from the Daily Mail that they’ve obtained recording of admission from Byron Castillo that he was born in Colombia!! The case is supposed to be heard by FIFA’s Appeals Commission on Thursday. They also state that Ecuador could be kicked out of World Cup.— Diego Montalvan (@DMontalvan) September 12, 2022
He also revealed that Marco Zambrano, an Ecuadorian businessman and owner of NorteAmerica, who were suspended by the FEF in 2018, was behind the fake ID.
"Sure, he told me he was going to help me, this and that," he said.
The aforementioned evidence was not used in a hearing back in June but will no doubt take centre stage when FIFA's Appeals Commission analyse the situation this week.
Castillo has been asked to answer questions via video link.
Ecuador finished fourth in South American qualifying, with Castillo playing eight times. He featured in both fixtures against Chile, who were seventh.
Peru, meanwhile, finished fifth in the intercontinental play-off spot.
Were FIFA to award 3-0 victories should they deem an ineligible player to have been used, Chile would finish ahead of Peru on goal difference.
That rule was applied in 2018 when Bolivia forfeited games against Chile and Peru after playing Paraguay-born defender Nelson Cabrera in World Cup qualifying.
Ecuador have been placed in Group A along with hosts Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal and are potential opponents for England in the round of 16.
The final verdict will be given on Thursday.
FIFA declined to comment when contacted by SPORTbible.