Ecuador has left defender Byron Castillo out of its 26-man squad for the World Cup despite the player being deemed an Ecuadorean national by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS decided earlier this month that Ecuador could play at the World Cup in Qatar after dismissing a claim by Chile that Castillo had been ineligible to play during the qualifiers.
But coach Gustavo Alfaro has decided not to call up Castillo after Ecuador got a three-point deduction for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($106,033.29) for the “use of a document containing false information”.
In September, FIFA had dismissed Chile’s appeal following its original complaint that Castillo was born in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995 and not in the Ecuadorean city of General Villamil Playas in 1998, as stated on his official documents.
However, CAS said the Ecuadorean Football Federation (FEF) had violated Article 21 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for the use of a document containing false information.
Ecuador has always denied that the player was ineligible. The FEF said they used the correct eligibility criteria to select Castillo and that they were analysing the next steps as they did not agree with the sanction imposed.
Alfaro has opted to select the key players from the qualifying games like goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez, midfielder Carlos Gruezo plus forwards Enner Valencia and Kevin Rodriguez.
“I’m here to give opportunities ... I said the doors of the national team are open as I called players from 18 to 38 years old and all got their place,” the manager had told a news conference on Saturday.
“I know these players have a lot of commitment... Now I have to analyse if they seize those opportunities in order to provide what the team needs” Alfaro added.
Ecuador’s Vice President Alfredo Borrero will be at the tournament’s opening match on Sunday when the country faces hosts Qatar since President Guillermo Lasso will not be attending.
Ecuador will also play Senegal and Netherlands in Group A.