Castillo Ecuador

Ecuador face the World Cup axe: Byron Castillo’s fake ID and four-year cover-up

Ecuador could be expelled from the World Cup after one of its players admitted using a fake birth certificate in a confession concealed by the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF).

FIFA’s appeal committee is due to rule on the Byron Castillo case on Thursday, and new evidence uncovered by the Daily mail suggests that Ecuador could be dropped from the tournament in favor of Chile.

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The case boils down to whether Castillo – who made eight qualifying appearances for the tournament in Qatar – was born in Ecuador or Colombia.

An audio recording of Castillo from four years ago not only suggests the right-back is actually a Colombian citizen, but also that the FEF knew he was and have kept it quiet ever since.

During the official interview – which was conducted by the head of the FEF’s commission of inquiry in 2018 – Castillo admits that he was born in 1995, not 1998, as stated on his Ecuadorian birth certificate.

He also admits to changing his name on the fake document, describes how he moved from the Colombian town of Tumaco to San Lorenzo in Ecuador, and names the Ecuadorian businessman who provided him with the new identity.

“When were you born exactly?” Castillo is asked about the recording, to which he replies “En 95”.

The next questions from the interviewer are: “And what is the year of the ID?” and Castillo responds “98”.

Castillo is then asked, “What are your real names?” to which he replies, “Bayron Javier Castillo Segura.”

Castillo then describes leaving his home in Tumaco for San Lorenzo.

“I crossed the border because, you know, Tumaco teams play in San Lorenzo,” Castillo explains. “I went to test at San Lorenzo, I remember it very well. I was never picked for any of the teams in those tries, but my friend who was picked never showed up, so I went instead.

“I went home, I told my parents that I had to go, but at that time we had no money, I remember it very well. There was no money. And I started crying. So my dad said maybe another time and so did my mom. My mother was worried, she didn’t want to do this and this and that to me. And I was worried. My father left around 7 am, he came back around 11 or 12 am with some money, 20,000 Colombian pesos. With that, I traveled to San Lorenzo.

“I arrived and I didn’t know how to fix things. I did not know. They said this and that. We will do it, we will help you. I needed help. I came here because I wanted to help my family. I knew the situation there in Tumaco. I arrived and started playing without any problem, unconscious. And right now, I see all the problems coming up.

Castillo also names NorteAmerica owner Marco Zambrano as the man responsible for providing his new documents.

“Marco Zambrano did everything for you at the start? Castillo is requested. “Of course he told me he was going to help me, this and that,” he replies.

A letter setting out the findings of the commission of inquiry, which was delivered to the president and the FEF disciplinary commission in December 2018, confirms that Castillo is a Colombian national who was born in Tumaco in 1995.

Despite this, in 2019 the FEF officially ruled that Castillo was an Ecuadorian citizen.

FIFA have been investigating the case since April after the Chilean FA said Castillo was ineligible as he was an illegal immigrant.

Chile could be the country to benefit if Ecuador were excluded from the World Cup.

Recent precedent would suggest that FIFA would award two 3-0 wins to Chile if their complaint is upheld, as Castillo played both qualifying games against them, meaning Chile would drop from seventh to fourth.

But Peru are the other potential beneficiary if all of Ecuador’s games are called off, as they finished fifth in the South American qualifying table.

FIFA and the FEF declined to comment.

Ecuador face the World Cup axe: Byron Castillo’s fake ID and four-year cover-up

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