Ecuador keep World Cup place following CAS hearing

Getty Images

Ecuador will keep their place at the 2022 World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in their favour on Tuesday, following attempts from Chile and Peru to have them thrown out of the tournament.

Chile and Peru appealed to FIFA after discovering Ecuador had used ineligible right-back Byron Castillo in their successful qualification campaign.

The Federacion de Futbol de Chile (ANPF) provided proof that Castillo was born in Colombia and not Ecuador, as stated on his official documents.

FIFA dismissed all charges in June and again in September when the fresh evidence came to light, but Chile and Peru took the case to CAS with a further appeal.

However, the hearing on November 4 and 5 adjudged that "no violation of the rules on eligibility has occurred", leaving Ecuador free to compete in Qatar later this month.

Ecuador will, however, be deducted three points in qualifying for the 2026 tournament after being found to have used false information to obtain a passport for a Colombian-born player.

The South American nation, who face hosts Qatar in the opening game of the tournament on November 20, must also pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs ($101,605).

In a statement released on their official website after the verdict was delivered, the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) suggested they may themselves appeal those sanctions.

"The Ecuadorian Football Federation is analysing the next steps to follow, since it does not share the sanction imposed," the statement read.

Castillo appeared eight times in qualifying for Ecuador, including in both of their two meetings with Chile, but he did not play in either game against Peru.

Chile argued Ecuador should forfeit the games Castillo played in, having finished fourth in CONMEBOL's qualification group, while Peru felt they should have replaced Ecuador in Qatar as they finished fifth.

With only four teams qualifying automatically, Peru instead dropped into the intercontinental play-offs and were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Australia following a goalless draw.

Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are the other nations representing CONMEBOL at the global showpiece event, which runs until December 18.