LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport has registered appeals by the Chilean football federation (FFCH) and the the Peruvian football federation (FPF)against FIFA’s decision to allow Ecuador to play at the World Cup despite allegations they fielded an ineligible player, it said on Friday.

World football’s governing body FIFA earlier this month dismissed an appeal in the case of Ecuadorean player Byron Castillo, who Chile had alleged was ineligible to play in qualifying since he was born in Colombia.

Castillo, a defender, played in eight of Ecuador’s qualifying games — including twice against Chile, a win for Ecuador and a draw — for the Qatar World Cup as they finished fourth to secure the last automatic regional berth, while Chile finished seventh.

He did not appear in either of Ecuador’s games against Peru, in which Peru picked up four points.

Ecuador have denied that the player was ineligible.

The FFCH said there are “countless proofs” that Castillo, who plays for Leon in Mexico, was born in Colombia in July 1995 and not in Playas, Ecuador in November 1998.

The FFCH alleged “use of a falsified birth certificate, false declaration of age and false nationality”.

Fifth-placed Peru missed out on the last automatic spot but advanced to the inter-confederation playoffs, where they lost to Australia.

Chile finished seven points behind Ecuador and five behind Peru, but wants the eight games Castillo played to be declared lost by Ecuador, which would lift it to the fourth place of the South American zone qualifiers.

Ecuador have been drawn against Qatar, Nether­lands and Senegal at the finals.

“The appeal filed by the FPF is directed at the Ecuador football association (FEF) and FIFA. The FPF requests that Ecuador be excluded from the FIFA World Cup 2022 and replaced by Peru, which is the best runner-up,” CAS said in a statement.

“FFCH requests CAS to rule that the Player was ineligible for the 8 matches played in the Qualifiers, declaring those matches as forfeited and placing Chile in the 4th position in the South America 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.”

CAS is the last legal resort available to the two South American nations. A decision is expected by Nov 10, days before the World Cup kicks off on Nov.

20 with Ecuador scheduled to take on hosts Qatar.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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