Ecuador will play at this year’s World Cup in Qatar after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CASE) said on Tuesday Byron Castillowho Chile claimed was ineligible to play during qualifying, was considered an Ecuadorian national.
Ecuador will, however, receive a three-point deduction at the start of the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign and will also have to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($101,605.36) for “the use of a document containing false information,” the CAS said. .
“Given that the nationality of a player of a national association is determined by national laws (subject to delays in the event of a change of sporting nationality, which was not the case here), Byron Castillo was eligible for play…in the preliminary round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” CAS said in a statement.
CAS, the sport’s highest court, added that the decision was based on Ecuadorian authorities having recognized Castillo as an Ecuadorian national.
Ecuador were drawn in Group A alongside Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands in the final and the South American side will face the hosts in the tournament opener when the FIFA Cup world will begin on November 20.
In September, FIFA rejected Chile’s appeal following its initial complaint that Castillo was born in Tumaco, Colombia, in 1995 and not in the Ecuadorian town of general Villamil Playas in 1998, as stated on its official documents.
However, CAS said the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) violated Article 21 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for using a document containing false information.
“While the player’s Ecuadorian passport was indeed genuine, some of the information provided was false,” CAS added.
“In particular, the panel was comfortably satisfied that the player’s date and place of birth were incorrect since the player was actually born in Tumaco, Colombia on June 25, 1995.”
Castillo has played in eight of Ecuador’s qualifying games – including two against Chile – for the World Cup finishing fourth to secure a place in the final.
Ecuador have always denied the player was ineligible.
Peru finished fifth in South American qualifying, missing out on the final automatic berth for Qatar, while Chile finished seventh.
Regarding the points deduction imposed on Ecuador during the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign, CAS said:
“The panel determined that the three-point deduction should not be imposed in the current preliminary competition at the FIFA World Cup, but rather in the next edition, considering that the player was eligible to play in the preliminary competition at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022.”

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