Ecuador qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup but it wasn’t a guarantee they would be playing in Qatar this November. Chile filed a protest on the eligibility of an Ecuador player and were pushing for Ecuador to be kicked out.
FIFA made their ruling and decided that Ecuador will keep their place in the World Cup, despite premature reports from Chilean media reporting the opposite. In a statement from FIFA, the Disciplinary Committee closed the investigation but the Football Federation of Chile is already planning to appeal.
The investigation centered around the eligibility of Ecuador right back Byron Castillo. Chile accused Castillo of being born in Columbia and thus was ineligible for Ecuador. The logic being that Ecuador would be made to forfeit every game Castillo played in with 3-0 losses, and with the lost points and added goal differential, Chile would’ve moved up from seventh to fourth and qualify for the World Cup.
The accusations about Castillo’s nationality aren’t anything new. Castillo had been accused of being born in Colombia from as far back as 2017 but after an investigation it was ruled in April 2021, before World Cup qualifying, that Castillo was eligible for Ecuador and he could play for the team. It was recently discovered that the discrepancy was that Byron’s deceased older brother, Bayron, was born in Colombia while Byron was born in Ecuador.
Pretty big mixup but it appears things are finally set and Ecuador is still in the World Cup.