ECUADOR reportedly face being kicked out of the World Cup just months before it starts.
That’s amid claims of player Byron Castillo using a fake Ecuadorian passport after allegedly being born in Colombia.
The Mail says it has unearthed new evidence of a cover-up by Ecuador’s FA (FEF) amid a FIFA enquiry into Castillo’s nationality.
The world governing body are investigating whether the right-back, who plays for Mexican side Leon, was born in Ecuador or in Colombia.
Castillo has 10 caps for Ecuador and helped them reach the World Cup finals in Qatar this winter.
But the Mail claims it has an audio recording from four years ago of Castillo giving his name as the one matching his alleged Colombian birth certificate.
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Castillo also says he was born THREE years earlier than the age on his Ecuadorian birth certificate.
The Mail adds Castillo is heard describing how he left Colombia for Ecuador to become a footballer.
And Castillo also names an Ecuadorian businessman who allegedly gave him his new identity.
The Mail’s audio of Castillo could have major repercussions for Ecuador’s World Cup hopes.
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It was South American rivals Chile who first lodged an official complain with FIFA earlier this year regarding their doubts over Castillo’s nationality.
FIFA dismissed the complaint in June, but the Mail claims the new evidence could be used before Thursday’s Appeals Commission rules on the matter.
That could potentially result in Ecuador being booted out of the World Cup.
And Chile are hopeful they will be able to take their place in Qatar.
Castillo played in two qualifiers against them, with Chile picking up just one point.
Should FIFA follow precedent by awarding Chile two 3-0 wins, that would move them from seventh to fourth in the table.
That would put Chile above Peru on goal difference.
But Peru also hold out hope that they can qualify instead, simply by Ecuador having their matches forfeited.
FIFA and FEF declined to comment.
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