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Chile fails appeal to take Ecuador’s 2022 World Cup spot

Chile lost their call to replace Ecuador at the World Cup in Qatar.

Fifa has rejected Chile’s argument that Ecuadorian player Byron Castillo was in fact Colombian and ineligible to play in World Cup qualifying matches. Castillo played in eight of them for Ecuador.

Fifa said its appeals judges “found that based on the documents presented, the player should be considered to hold permanent Ecuadorian nationality in accordance” with the country’s legal statutes.

The verdict, which upholds a Fifa disciplinary decision from June, keeps Ecuador on track to face Qatar in the World Cup opener in Doha on November 20. The Netherlands and Senegal are also in Group A.

The Chilean federation later confirmed that they would now appeal Fifa’s verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Sport’s top court is set to hold an urgent hearing and decision just nine weeks before the start of the World Cup.

Chile claimed to have evidence proving that Castillo is Colombian and should never have played for Ecuador.

Chile prepared their case after the World Cup draw on April 1 and after organizers Fifa and Qatar sold thousands of tickets and accommodation rooms to Ecuadorian fans.

If Ecuador had lost all eight games played by Castillo, Chile would have moved into an automatic fourth place in the South American qualifying group. Ecuador would have dropped out of the competition.

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