Chile and Peru have both approached the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to throw Ecuador out of the World Cup, the court announced on Friday. FIFA, football's governing body, ruled for Ecuador in early September while hearing a dispute over the nationality of Byron Castillo, who represented Ecuador in qualifying.
The Peruvian Football Federation has demanded the elimination of Ecuador from the World Cup and be replaced by Peru. Chile's football association has requested the Court of Arbitration to rule Castillo ineligible for the qualifying games he played in and declare those matches as forfeited.
A statement by the court read, "The Cas arbitrations have commenced and are at an early stage. A procedural calendar is in preparation."
The 23-year-old played in eight of Ecuador's 18 World Cup qualifiers. Earlier this year, in June, FIFA ruled that Castillo is eligible after the Football Federation of Chile (FFC) filed a complaint claiming Castillo is Colombian and had falsified his age.
The football associations of Chile and Peru lodged appeals, but Fifa's appeals committee said the Castillo does qualify for Ecuador. Ecuador finished fourth in Conmebol qualifying and earned an automatic place ahead of Peru at the World Cup, where their draw is scheduled against Senegal, the Netherlands and hosts Qatar.
If Ecuador forfeits eight games Castillo played in, and their opponents are awarded three points for each of them, that will see Chile, who finished seventh, leapfrog sixth-placed Colombia and Peru into the fourth automatic spot. Both FPF and the Chilean Football Association (FFCH) have urged CAS to issue its final ruling on or before November 10, that's ten days before the start of the World Cup.