‘New evidence’ could lead to Ecuador’s suspension from Qatar World Cup competition
Ecuador could be “kicked out” of the Qatar World Cup this winter based on new information, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. Unnamed sources say they have uncovered evidence that shows right-back Byron Castillo used a “false birth certificate” to qualify to represent the country, having been born in Colombia.
Attorneys for Castillo claim, however, that the “new” evidence is actually old and has already been discredited.
The evidence, whatever its credibility, is set to be heard by the International Football Federation (FIFA) Appeals Commission, which will take place on Thursday.
Castillo, played in eight of Ecuador’s qualifiers.
The evidence claims to show that the defender used false documents to play for Ecuador, which was covered up by the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF). “The new evidence” is an audio recording from four years ago in which Castillo can allegedly be heard telling an investigator that he was born in 1995 rather than in 1998, which is what it says on his Ecuadorian birth certificate.
In the audio taple, the Leon defender is also said to confirm the name that is published on his Colombian birth certificate, rather than his Ecuadorian one. He then goes on to say that he was given a new identity by an Ecuadorian businessman, having left Colombia to pursue his dreams of becoming a footballer.
A letter from 2018 has also been published that shows the FEF investigating Castillo’s nationality and ruling that he is a Colombian national, which will now be shown to FIFA. It remains to be seen how the new evidence will influence the case on Thursday, with Chile waiting in the wings to take Ecuador’s spot having lodged the initial appeal. Chile lost to Ecuador in the final World Cubp qualifier in 2021.
Andrés Holguín, one of Castillo’s lawyers, said Monday that the tape Chile will present Thursday will have no affect on Cantillo’s and Ecuador’s status. “The audio has been circulating for months and is nothing new,” Holguín said. “A constitutional judge refused to consider it as evidence since it could not be certified that it was from Castillo.” He added that FIFA cannot consider the tape it since it was not presented during the first appeal.
In the audio, someone can be heard saying: “My mum was worried, she didn’t want to do this to me and this and that. And I was worried. My Dad left around 7, he came back at 11 or 12, with money, 20,000 Colombian pesos. With that I travelled to San Lorenzo (Ecuador).
The audio continunes: “I arrived and I didn’t know how to fix things. I didn’t know. They said this and that. We are going to do this, we are going to help you. I needed help. I came here because I wanted to help my family. I knew the situation there in Tumaco. I arrived and started playing without any problem, oblivious. And just now I see all the problems come up.”
The Ecuador national team has three stars that play in England’s Premier League, all from Brighton – Pervis Estupinan, Moises Caicedo and Jeremy Sarmiento.
Credit: The Express