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Chile appeals to FIFA in World Cup case with Ecuador

FIFA is awaiting a ruling in the case of an Ecuadorian player who Chile claim was ineligible to play during World Cup qualifying.

Chile have appealed to FIFA against Ecuador’s place at the World Cup in a case claiming an ineligible player, with a decision expected in the coming days.

With just under nine weeks to go before the 32-team World Cup is scheduled to start on November 20, Chile are hoping to replace Ecuador in the opening game against hosts Qatar. She presented her appeal on Thursday.

FIFA previously said it had asked Ecuadorian player Byron Castillo, who Chilean officials claim is actually Colombian and shouldn’t have played in the World Cup qualifiers, to stand as a witness. The appeal hearing was conducted remotely from Zurich, with only the three judges present.

A verdict is expected early next week – possibly as early as Friday – although the case is unlikely to be resolved.

Both the Chilean and Ecuadorian football federations can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the event of a loss. CAS would then manage an urgent case in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The FIFA Appeals Committee rarely reverses a decision by the Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee, which sided with Ecuador in a June 10 decision.

Castillo took part in eight World Cup qualifiers and helped Ecuador advance to the tournament by finishing fourth in the South American group of 10 teams.

Chile claim to be in possession of documents proving Castillo was never eligible to play for Ecuador and was therefore set to lose all eight games. That would move Chile to fourth place and knock Ecuador out of the competition.

The case continues as FIFA and Qatar organizers sell thousands of tickets and accommodation to Ecuadorian fans.

Chile prepared their legal arguments after the World Cup draw on April 1, when Ecuador entered Group A with Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal.

The FIFA judge overseeing the case is Neil Eggleston, a former White House Counsel in former US President Barack Obama’s second administration.

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