Chile Against Ecuador, a New Sanction Case for FIFA?

The issue of Byron Castillo is still in the forefront as the last resort of the Chilean team to try to reach the Qatar 2022 World Cup, but how has the highest soccer body reacted to similar situations?

Players of the Ecuadorian and Chilean national team during a match

Photo: FIFA

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

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Leer en español: Chile contra Ecuador ¿un nuevo caso de sanción para la FIFA?

The Chilean team continues to cling to the table to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, something that it could not achieve on the field of play during the Conmebol qualifiers. The case of Byron Castillo and his alleged irregular registration on the Ecuadorian payroll continues to be news, because if Ecuador is eliminated due to this irregularity, Chile could enter the top soccer competition. Although, the trend is that the southern protest will not have an effect.

A file was opened for Castillo for his alleged birth in Colombia, as reported in 2019 by the Investigation Department of the Ecuadorian Football Federation. The midfielder did not start the process of coach Gustavo Alfaro and just made his debut on the ninth date of the qualifiers when Ecuador beat Paraguay 2-0 in Quito. On January 28, 2021, Judge Ronald Guerrero Cruz, of the Guayaquil North 2 Criminal Judicial Unit, declared the habeas data filed by Castillo admissible and ordered the Civil Registry of Ecuador, in an official letter dated February 25, to register him as an Ecuadorian citizen. Under that premise, Alfaro summoned Castillo for friendly and official games in Ecuador, since he is registered in the Pro League and in the Copa Libertadores.

The Controversy that Benefits Only Chile

Colombian journalist Sebastián Bejarano, from Radio Caracol, reactivated the controversy on the subject after mentioning on his Twitter account a trial in which Castillo was declared Colombian. The team led by Martin Lasarte would be the most benefited in the event that the Ecuadorian documents supporting Castillo are not certified, since the midfielder played in the two matches between Austral and Southern, even being a starter in the most recent one, which Ecuador won by 0-2.

Those would be five points that would be awarded to Chile, which finished with 19 and would rise to 24, and would subtract four to Ecuador, which has 26 and would remain with 22. In this situation, the direct qualifiers would be Brazil (45), Argentina (39), Uruguay (28), and Chile (26), and Peru would remain in the playoffs with 24 points.

According to El Universo, the National Association of Professional Soccer Players (ANFP) pointed out after Bejarano's statement. “ The next steps depend on the investigation carried out by professionals, which may reach FIFA and, eventually, the CAS. If the information is reliable, there will be an appeal. Information is being requested."

Ecuador is favored by what was published by Diario Marca, which referred to a dialogue held by a radio program in Quito with José David Jiménez, FIFA's lawyer, who stated "I am surprised how a journalist can cause a stir on this issue of Byron Castillo. Yes, there was an appeal, but they declared it unfounded. All the procedural stages were complied with. We are already out of terms and deadlines to act like this ".

Chile, It's Not the First Time!

Heading to a World Cup, it is not the first time that Chile has starred in this type of action. The most remembered was the one led by goalkeeper Roberto "Condor" Rojas towards Italia 90 when he faked a cut on his face by an object thrown from the stands, actually being a small wound that he inflicted on himself with a blade. to shave.

The objective was to sanction Brazil as a local so that it lost the three points in favor of Chile, which would have given them one of the direct quotas for that world cup. On the contrary, Fifa suspended the goalkeeper for two years and Chile could not play in the qualifying rounds on the way to USA 1994.

Also read: Did Liverpool Become the Great Candidate for the Champions League?

On the way to Russia in 2018, Chile claimed before FIFA the irregular registration of the Paraguayan Nelson Cabrera, who played in Bolivia as a nationalized citizen. FIFA acted and subtracted, in full qualifying rounds, the points that Bolivia won on the field against those two teams, despite the arguments put forward by those from the highlands before the TAS. Even so, the Chilean team could not qualify.

The other case was for a purely political reason in the midst of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The Soviet Union team did not appear in the second leg of the playoff against Chile as a visitor on the way to Germany in 1974, arguing that crimes against humanity occurred in that nation. That time, Chile was able to play in the World Cup.

FIFA and Similar Cases

Russia, a quarterfinalist in its World Cup in 2018, after eliminating Spain, was recently eliminated from Qatar in 2022 by Fifa. Despite reaching the playoff against Poland, the decision was made due to the armed conflict with Ukraine. Poland, the Czech Republic, and Sweden, their potential rivals, said they did not want to play in a nation that attacked another.

Another case of great impact was that of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Its sanction did not come directly from FIFA but from UN resolution 757, which required all member countries to prevent the participation of Yugoslav athletes in international competitions. Thus, he was eliminated from the Eurocopa Sweden 1992, despite winning his place on the court.

In 1945, FIFA, just after World War II, excluded Germany and Japan from war actions. It wasn't until 1948 that they were reinstated, but that prevented them from playing in the qualifiers for Brazil 1950. They returned to the fray in 1954 and coincidentally that was the year that West Germany claimed their first world title in Switzerland.

Another sanctioned selection was Libya in 1992, when the UN punished the country governed by Muammar El Gaddafi after the attack on a Pan Am flight that fell in Scotland (December 1988). Libya did not play in the USA 1994 qualifiers and spent eight years without playing official matches, between 1989 and 1997.

On the way to Sweden 58, North Korea, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, and Indonesia did not want to face Israel, due to the Sinai conflict between this country and Egypt, but far from sanctioning it, FIFA decided to give them the opportunity to seek their place in a playoff against Wales, in which they were eliminated.


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