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Byron Castillo won’t go to the World Cup “to avoid problems”

The Ecuadorian ambassador in Qatar confirmed that the right-back won’t be in the squad as his fraud case continues.

Joe Brennan
Byron CASTILLO of Ecuador during the International Friendly match between Ecuador and Japan at Esprit-Arena on September 27, 2022 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Hugo PfeifferGetty

This Saturday, the news was released that 23 year-old Club León full-back Byron Castillo would not travel to Qatar with the Ecuador National Team in order to avoid future problems”, said Ecuador Ambassador in Qatar, Pascual Del Cioppo.

“Unfortunately”, said the ambassador, “Byron Castillo will not travel. It would be the icing on the cake for him to come and score a goal but the information we have is that he will not be coming to Qatar.”

“It is a decision taken by the federation, surely to avoid future problems”, added the diplomat, a few hours before the release of the official list from Gustavo Alfaro. It could be for this reason that Ecuador is one of the last teams to release their squad for the upcoming World Cup (for the full list of teams that have released their squad list, click here). Over the past few hours, the Ecuadorian Football Federation (EFE) confirmed whether or not Castillo was to be made available for Alfaro’s selection.

Ecuador drew 0-0 with Iraq in their last game before the World Cup.
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Ecuador drew 0-0 with Iraq in their last game before the World Cup. J.J GuillénEFE

Castillo was involved in an alleged case of document fraud and, according to the reports filed by Peru and Chile, the footballer was born in Tumaco (Colombia) and not in Ecuador, as his documentation reportedly says. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had ruled that the footballer had his documents in order when he began to play for Ecuador; now it appears as though those documents were validated with false information.

CAS took three decisions with respect to the player: firstly, they will dock Ecuador of 3 points in the next qualifying tournament; a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (approximately $106,000) must be paid and both Chile and Peru must also be financially compensated.

In the World Cup, Ecuador will play in Group A and come up against The Netherlands, Senegal and hosts Qatar, who they play in the opening match of the tournament on Sunday 20 November. Their final game before the World Cup was played on 12 November in Atlético Madrid’s stadium, a 0-0 draw against Iraq.


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