Ecuador keeps World Cup spot as FIFA rejects Chile complaint
ZURICH (AP) — Ecuador kept its place at the World Cup on Friday when a FIFA legal ruling rejected a complaint by Chile about an alleged ineligible player.
FIFA said its disciplinary committee closed the proceedings in the claim that Ecuador defender Byron Castillo, who played in eight qualifying games, was ineligible.
Chile's soccer federation claimed to have documents proving Castillo is actually Colombian.
Ecuador risked forfeiting all eight games as 3-0 losses and dropping from fourth place in the South American qualifying group that ended in March. Chile would have risen to fourth in the standings.
"After analyzing the submissions of all parties concerned and considering all elements brought before it, the FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to close the proceedings initiated against the (Ecuador soccer federation)," FIFA said in a statement.
Chile can challenge the ruling at FIFA's appeals committee and potentially later at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The World Cup draw was made April 1 for the tournament being played in Qatar from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18.
Ecuador was drawn in a group with host Qatar, the Netherlands, and Senegal.