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Ecuador’s National Football team role in the World Cup depends on where Byron Castillo was born.

 Ecuador’s role in the World Cup depends on where Byron Castillo was born.

Ecuador will reportedly be banned from this year's World Cup in Qatar after a lawyer claims that one of their players, Byron Castillo, falsified documents and is in fact Colombian. An official statement from FIFA is reportedly set to be revealed in the coming days, which will announce Chile as their replacement despite being out of the qualifying spots.

Eduardo Carlezo, the lawyer representing Chile in the ongoing court case, claims that his investigation has uncovered an illegitimate birth certificate for Castillo, according to TV Azteca.

Ecuador’s National Football team role in the World Cup depends on where Byron Castillo was born.


Fingerprints are believed to be absent from Castillo's document, which claims he was born in Ecuador, and Chile has accused the player of 'rigging' the process. If FIFA agrees with the lawyer's findings - which the report suggests would be the case - Ecuador could be deducted every point Castillo scored in the eight qualifying matches he attended.

Football fans, like most sports fans, are always up for a good argument, especially the kind that can't really be resolved. The more subjective the debate, the better: which player was the greatest in different eras, which historical team would win one-on-one, which league is the strongest, which country has the most aesthetically pleasing style of play. 

Such questions do not succumb to data or figures, but they should be teased, worked out, read aloud like poetry. Of all the football questions of this kind, the one I'm most invested in (perhaps because it helps explain why Peru, the country I was born in, struggled with) is this: From which field? This is the toughest qualifying for the World Cup? I understand there are strong feelings on the matter—which I'm happy to discuss over a drink at length—but, unless you're calling my father and everyone in my family a liar, the only true answer is South America. Is.

If you have any doubts about it, look no further than Chile. The current national team features some of the country's greatest players, a golden generation with stars such as Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and others who have played for the biggest clubs in Europe and won significant trophies there. 

It was Chile who defeated then-champion Spain from the 2014 World Cup; Chile, who won consecutive Copa America, beat Lionel Messi's Argentina twice on penalty kicks. And yet this undeniably talented team has now failed to qualify for two consecutive World Cups. They missed out in 2018, dropping to sixth place in qualifying, and then in 2022, managing only seventh place. The top four teams from South America qualify directly for this winter's tournament in Qatar, while the fifth-placed team advances to an intercontinental playoff. For the time being, the place of playoff is Peru, with the deciding match against Australia on Monday the 13th.

Chile's qualifying campaign ended with a home loss to Uruguay in March, followed by a brutal post-mortem of the team's humiliating fall that was predictable. The coach's contract was allowed to expire; The head of the Chilean federation called the campaign a collective "failure"; Team's veteran defender Gary Medal was seen crying on the pitch. 

There was talk of investing in youth, giving new players an opportunity that faded about a month ago, when, out of nowhere, a potential second chance emerged: an unlikely – some might say unfair – Chile. The way to qualify for the World Cup after all. Really great teams, it goes without saying, never give up.

Ecuador’s National Football team role in the World Cup depends on where Byron Castillo was born.


At the center of this new twist in South American qualifying is a perfect fullback on Ecuador's team named Byron Castillo and one simple question that, what football fans most enjoy debating, really has the answer. Is Castillo Ecuadorian or Colombian? Ecuador has declared that Castillo is Ecuadorian. 

Chileans argue that he was born in Tumaco, Colombia, and claim he has a birth certificate that proves it. Had FIFA been with Chile, the games Castillo played would have been forfeited, scoring as a 3–0 loss. As a result, Ecuador would lose a total of fourteen points, out of contention to Qatar, and Chile, with two additional wins (and five additional points), would move to fourth place in qualifying instead of Ecuador. The stakes cannot be higher.

If all of this sounds non-sporting, it's also not entirely surprising. In 2016, Chile argued that another Bolivian player was ineligible on that occasion, and FIFA agreed. Unfortunately for Chile, Bolivia's deducted points in that case also benefited Chile's arch rivals, Peru, a happy outcome for me and my thirty-three million close friends. 

To qualify for the World Cup for the first time in thirty-six years is a beautiful thing. Qualifying at the expense of your bitter rivals because they've litigated and inadvertently bestowed upon you a very specific, delicious—and, yes, petty—kind of pleasure. We still laugh about it.

Castillo made his debut at the age of ten in Norte America, a club known for developing young talent, and eventually made his way to the First Division, where he now plays Ecuador's most popular and successful club, Barcelona. Let's play for Guayaquil. whether his parents are from Colombia is not in dispute; Nor is the fact that they fled the violence there to start a new life in Ecuador. Officially, Castillo was born in a small town of twenty-five thousand called General Villamil Plais, about an hour and a half from Guayaquil.

An original birth certificate has not been found there, but according to Ecuadorian sports journalist Diego Arcos, it does not necessarily prove anything. "Things are very uncertain at Playa," he explained, and record-keeping is lousy for everyone, not just future national football stars. In any case, Arcos told me, birth certificates from Playas are sent to Guayaquil, and Arcos was able to find Castillo's records in the national registry there.

Nevertheless, questions about Castillo's origins haunted the player from the very beginning of his career. In 2015, Amelec, a first-division Ecuadorian club team to which they were to be loaned, turned down the offer, citing irregularities with their paperwork. That year, Castillo captained the Ecuadorian team to the under-seventeen World Cup, but when he was called to play with the under-twenty team a few years later, the issue of his paperwork resurfaced, and he was dropped.


Ecuador’s National Football team role in the World Cup depends on where Byron Castillo was born.

 Gaya roster a few hours before the start of the tournament. Through it all, he continued to play for other clubs, and was considered by many to be a talent to watch. Players like Castillo, who come from some of the country's poorest regions, often rely on investors to pay for their training and early careers in exchange for transfer rights. Sometimes these contracts can go awry.

 The latest questions about Castillo's nationality have emerged from a dispute over such rights, in light of a possible relocation of a team to Mexico. An Ecuadorian businessman, Carlos Yazbek, partial owner of Castillo's transfer rights, claimed he owed money to another rights holder and brought a Colombian birth certificate for Javier Castillo, a Byron, as evidence of fraud. who was born in Tumaco. 

Colombia. In an interview with a Chilean newspaper, Yazbek offered to sell it to the Chileans. "I am the only one who has documents in this matter," he said. "I can show the truth here." The Football Federation of Ecuador has argued that this had already been investigated, and that Byron, with the alternate spelling, Byron was the older brother of David Castillo, who is now dead. Nevertheless, when the Colombian birth certificate was published in April, the news went viral, and soon after, the Chilean federation filed its complaint.

Media coverage of the case has been intense, and Castillo is under pressure. He broke up a few weeks back during a match with his club. After fouling in the box, while giving penalty kicks to Barcelona's opponents, he cried inconsolably and asked for a replacement. 

His teammates and fans rushed to send their support on social media, while the team promised him psychological care and launched the hashtag #TodosSomosByron (WeAreAllByron). In Chile, however, Castillo's tears were viewed quite differently, being interpreted almost as an admission of guilt. Eduardo Carlezo, the lawyer representing the Chilean federation, urged Castillo to come clean. "There can be no fear in speaking the truth," he said. "Lies are short-lived, but can come at a heavy cost."

Now the matter is before FIFA, which is expected to be resolved on Friday. Chilean football journalist Danilo Díaz, whom I spoke to, was politely skeptical about the Ecuadorian version of events. "It's not that the story is unbelievable," he told me, "but it's hard to follow." In Ecuador, by contrast, Castillo has become a rallying cry, a symbol, despite playing relatively few games with the national team. Peru and Colombia are also eyeing the resolution, which could potentially affect them: a possible outcome is that Ecuador is penalized but Chile is not awarded points, and instead Peru takes fourth place (and an automatic berth), and Colombia are now in sixth place and have reached the playoffs. 

At this late date, however, the most likely conclusion is probably that FIFA would choose to drop the table—and that would mean that the whole messy episode would have achieved nothing except a new level of rancor in future games. to add. Chile and Ecuador. Of course, this bitterness is part of why South America is the hardest-hit region to qualify for the World Cup.

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