The football World Cup in Qatar may take place without the team from Ecuador, a decision by FIFA could be made this week.

The national team of Ecuador is apparently threatened with exclusion from the World Cup in Qatar. According to a report by Mundo Deportivo, the world governing body FIFA is on the verge of suspending the South American country’s qualification and upholding a lawsuit by the Chilean Football Association. The reason for this are allegedly forged documents of the Ecuadorian defender Byron Castillo. According to his birth certificate, he was born in Ecuador in 1998, but Chile believes Castillo was born in Colombia in 1995.

Eduardo Carlezzo, lawyer for the Chilean association ANFP, has no doubts that Ecuador will be excluded. “The burden of proof is too great,” he said. “All the clubs and all of Ecuadorian football know what happened to Byron Castillo, so I thought it was important for people to know all the background.” He expects a decision this week.

World Cup 2022: Will Italy move up for Ecuador?

Should FIFA come to the realization that Castillo is not Ecuadorian and therefore ineligible to play for the team, all games in which he played would have to be rated 3-0 against Ecuador. Chile had finished the South American qualification in seventh place behind Colombia. Ecuador had qualified directly in fourth, followed by Peru. The Peruvians play against Australia on June 13 for one of the last World Cup tickets.

Should FIFA actually decide against Ecuador, it would still have to be decided which country will take the place of Qatar instead. According to the report, even European champions Italy could hope to take part – if FIFA uses the world rankings as a criterion. Italy is sixth in the ranking, clearly the highest-ranked nation to have failed to qualify. Colombia is 17th, Chile is 28th.