Updated: Jun 3
FIFA opens investigation into claims that Ecuador's Byron Castillo is actually COLOMBIAN and was not eligible to play in their World Cup qualifiers - with Chile calling for their rivals to be kicked out
Ecuador have already qualified for the World Cup in Qatar later this year
Chile believe they used an ineligible player in Byron Castillo for the campaign
Ecuador are in a group with Qatar, Holland and Senegal for the World Cup
They finished in fourth place in the 10-nation South American qualifying group
But now FIFA are investigating Chile's claim that Castillo was ineligible to play
FIFA has opened an investigation into claims made by Chile that Byron Castillo was not eligible to feature in eight of Ecuador's World Cup qualifying fixtures.
The Chilean football federation recently asked FIFA to investigate its claim that Castillo is actually Colombian and not entitled to have played in qualifiers for Ecuador.
Last week they claimed to have proof that he 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. It claimed the Barcelona of Guayaquil full back used a false passport and birth certificate.
FIFA is investigating Chile's claim that Ecuador player Byron Castillo is actually Colombian
The complaint came more than one month after South American qualifying ended and Ecuador were drawn into a group with host nation Qatar, Holland and Senegal.
'FIFA can confirm that it has received a formal complaint from the Chilean FA in relation to this matter,' football's governing body said in a statement at the time.
FIFA gave no timetable for a possible disciplinary case ahead of the World Cup kicking off Nov. 21.
However, they have now revealed that an investigation into Castillo's eligibility is now underway.
The statement reads: 'As recently confirmed by FIFA, the Chilean Football Association has lodged a complaint with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in which it made a series of allegations concerning the possible falsification of documents granting Ecuadorian nationality to the player Byron David Castillo Segura, as well as the possible illegibility of the said player to participate in eight qualifying matches of the national team of the Ecuadorian Football Association (FEF) in the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Castillo, who played in eight of Ecuador's World Cup qualifiers, is accused of being ineligible
'Bearing the above in mind, FIFA has decided to open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the potential illegibility of Byron David Castillo Segura with regard to the above-mentioned matches.
'In this context, the FEF and the Peruvian Football Association have been invited to submit their positions to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
'Further details will follow in due course.'
Ecuador finished fourth in the 10-nation South American qualifying group to advance directly to Qatar. Fifth-place Peru has a play-off game next month against Australia or the United Arab Emirates.
Chile placed seventh, seven points behind Ecuador, but argues it could advance if games involving Castillo were forfeited.
Ecuador were drawn in a group with host nation Qatar, Holland and Senegal for the World Cup
The FIFA rules in cases of ineligible players require results to be overturned as a 3-0 loss.
In South American qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Bolivia forfeited two games in which it fielded an ineligible Paraguay-born player as a late substitute.
Bolivia lost an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport which said FIFA was right to investigate even when protests were filed weeks after the games were played.
FIFA wrote stricter rules for the 2022 World Cup requiring all players in qualifying games to produce a 'valid permanent international passport' for inspection by match officials.