FIFA RULING: Ecuador will be in the World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is the most important sporting event in the world. For the players, its a life's dream come true. And for the fans? Well, an average of 517 million people watched the 2018 World Cup final, and only the Summer Olympic Games can claim to be a challenger. It's no surprise then that many will try their hand at every chance they get to try and enter the competition, even if it means winning it on a judge's desk and not the pitch.
Such was the case for the Chilean National Team, who failed to win their spot in Qatar 2022 on the grass, and looked to find other routes. In concrete, the Chilean Association presented a complaint that one of Ecuador's players, Byron Castillo, wasn't of Ecuatorian nationality, but actually Colombian.
Their case was that Castillo was actually born in Colombia and hadn't the Ecuatorian nationality necessary to play for Ecuador. This would have meant any match where Castillo represented Ecuador would have had the result overturned and the match been forfeited, which would have seen Chile jump from 7th in the Conmebol Qualifiers table to 4th, thus earning a spot in Qatar 2022.
However, FIFA has ruled against the motion presented by Chile. A statement released by football's ruling body points out that "After analysing 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 FEF". This means, for now, things stand as they were. As per the FIFA Disciplinary Code, Chile now has 10 days to present an appeal of the veredict.
Other than Chile, this is bad news for Euro 2020 champions Italy, who also missed on their ticket to the World Cup. The Azzurra was hoping for a result favourable to Chile, as this gave them a slim chance of getting to Qatar 2022, as FIFA rules state that if a country gets disqualified from the World Cup, it is the country not qualified thats best placed in the FIFA rankings that gets the spot, which would have been Italy.
For now, however, that place among the 32 teams that will bide for the World Cup in Qatar remains in the hands of the team that won it on the pitch, Ecuador.
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