Chile have filed a claim at FIFA requesting that they replace Ecuador at the 2022 FIFA World Cup following a dispute over a player's eligibilty.
Only 29 of the tournament's 32 teams have been confirmed so far due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the unfortunate invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
While three slots are yet to be decided, another spot in Qatar may see some changes following Chile's proposal to have Ecuador thrown out of the tournament due to fielding a player the Chileans allege was ineligible to represent them.
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According to The New York Times, evidence confirming that La Tricolor star Byron Castillo was born in Colombia and not Ecuador has been presented to world football's organising body, with the defender also alleged to be three years older than what was stated on documents identifying that he is Ecuadorean.
The Chile football federation has confirmed that a complaint has been filed with FIFA, stating via its official website that "the facts are too serious and must be thoroughly investigated by FIFA.
"The practice of serious and conscious irregularities in the registration of players cannot be accepted, especially when we are talking about a world competition."
FIFA's rules clearly stipulate that fielding an ineligible player could result in disqualification. As such, Chile have demanded that their South American rivals forfeit the eight CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers in which Castillo featured, and that the opponents of those matches be automatically awarded three points for each of those fixtures.
Ecuador qualified through a fourth-place finish in their group, and if FIFA rules in favour of the complainants, Chile will occupy that World Cup spot in Group A alongside hosts Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands.
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