Ecuador keeps World Cup place after ruling by sports court

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Ecuador kept its place at the World Cup but will be deducted three points in qualifying for the 2026 tournament because of a false document being used to get a passport for a Colombia-born player, sport's highest court ruled Tuesday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling comes 12 days before Ecuador plays host Qatar in the opening game at the World Cup and ended the hopes of Chile and Peru, who had each appealed to replace their South American rival.

Chile and Peru had argued that Ecuador used an ineligible player in eight qualifying games and should be thrown out of the World Cup. But the CAS judges said Ecuador defender Byron Castillo was eligible by FIFA rules to play in both the qualifying campaign and at the World Cup in Qatar.

However, the judges also said Castillo was born in Colombia and that false information about his date and place of birth had been used to get an Ecuadorian passport.

CAS imposed a 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,000) fine on the Ecuador soccer federation and ordered a three-point deduction in the South American qualifying group for the 2026 World Cup.

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The Associated Press