The FIFA football World Cup is on the horizon, and the event is inescapably big for Latin American countries. So much so that Chile, which did not qualify for the tournament in Qatar later this year, is launching an unprecedented appeal process to kick Ecuador out of the competition and potentially recoup a place for itself.
Chile claims that Ecuador’s right-back Byron Castillo was wrongfully selected for eight of its qualifying matches, arguing that the player is actually Colombian.
Chilean lawyers have filed documents that purportedly show Castillo was born in Tumaco — a border town on the side of Colombia — while Castillo is registered as hailing from Guayas, Ecuador.
Ecuadorian media expect FIFA to make a decision on the issue tomorrow, June 10. While there are multiple precedents of teams being banned from the World Cup finals — the latest of them being Russia this year — none of them took place after qualification was confirmed.