Fifa may exclude Ecuador from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar over allegations of a cover-up of Byron Castillo’s identity, so HITC Sport look at other countries who have been banned…

The Daily Mail notes Fifa’s appeals commission will issue its ruling on Thursday, September 15 after an investigation relating to Castillo’s eligibility. Football’s governing body launched an inquiry in April after the Chilean FA raised concerns over the right-back’s place of birth.

Chile’s FA lodged an official complaint, claiming that Castillo was actually born in Colombia and not Ecuador. The Daily Mail also claims that the Ecuadorian football association knew of the 23-year-old’s place of birth and covered up his confession on a false birth certificate.

Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

The Ecuador Football Federation (FEF) carried out its own investigation into Castillo’s place of birth in 2018. During this, the head of its investigative commission interviewed Castillo, who detailed leaving Tumaco for San Lorenzo in Ecuador to pursue a career as a footballer.

The inquiry determined he was born in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995 and not in ‘98 as on his Ecuadorian birth certificate. Castillo also gave his name as ‘Bayron Javier Castillo Segura’, like his Colombian documents – not ‘Byron David Castillo Segura’, like his Ecuadorian files.

FEF’s president and its disciplinary commission were given all documents from the time of its investigation. Yet FEF ruled that Castillo was an Ecuadorian citizen in 2019, while Fifa initially dismissed Chile’s complaint in June – although it did not have the new evidence.

Fifa’s appeals commission will now issue its ruling on Castillo’s identity this week, and have asked the defender to appear via video link to answer any questions. A ruling in favour of Chile’s complaint would likely see La Roja take Ecuador’s place in Qatar for the World Cup.

If the complaint is upheld, Fifa is likely to grant Chile two 3-0 wins after Castillo appeared in both of Ecuador’s qualifiers against La Roja. The decision would move Chile up to fourth in the CONMEBOL qualifying table – La Tri’s final position – from their seventh-place spot.

So, with Fifa due to rule on Chile’s complaint and possibly exclude Ecuador from the Qatar tournament, HITC Sport look at other times Fifa have banned countries from World Cups…

Photo by Dmitriy Golubovich/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia most recent country Fifa have banned from a World Cup

Russia are the most recent country that Fifa have banned from competing at a World Cup with their exclusion from Qatar 2022. Fifa and European governing body UEFA agreed to suspend all Russian teams – domestic and international – until further notice in February.

Fifa and UEFA issued the suspension following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as cited by BBC Sport. It removed Russia from the UEFA qualifying play-offs for the World Cup in Qatar before their semi-final tie with Poland, who advanced to beat Sweden in the Path B final.

Russia had initially protested against the ban, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed the FUR withdrew its appeal in April. However, the country continued to appeal against bans restricting its domestic teams from competing in any European competitions.

Fifa banned Myanmar from 2018 World Cup after another suspension in 2002

Fifa initially banned Myanmar from competing in the qualifying stages for the 2018 World Cup after fan trouble halted a 2014 Asian qualifying match against Oman in July 2011. But football’s governing body later lifted the suspension on appeal, as cited by FourFourTwo.

Myanmar were still ordered to play all of their home 2018 World Cup qualifiers on neutral ground in another country. But Chinthe would fail to qualify, and have failed to qualify for all seven of the editions they have tried to enter – including those in which they later withdrew.

Fifa also banned the nation once known as Burma from the 2006 World Cup in Germany. It issued a suspension for the tournament after Myanmar refused to play against Iran during a qualifying match and withdrew their entry for the 2002 edition in Japan and South Korea.

Fifa banned Chile from 1994 World Cup over plot to thwart Brazil

Chile lost their right to qualify for the 1994 USA World Cup after Fifa suspended the South American nation for their plot to deny rivals Brazil a place at the 1990 tournament in Italy.

Brazil hosted Chile at the Maracana Stadium in the last qualifying tie in the South American path to the 1990 edition. And with 20 minutes left of the fixture, the Selecao were already planning flights to Europe with a draw enough to win the tie and secure the final position.

But then down went Roberto Rojas, seemingly hit by a still-fizzing flare inches away. Once Chile’s goalkeeper was helped off the pitch by La Roja’s medical staff, officials abandoned the match. Yet he was not struck by the flare thrown from a Brazilian part of the stadium.

Instead, Rojas had used a razor blade he had hid in his gloves to cut his head in an incident unseen on TV. But Paulo Teixeira, a pitch-side photographer on the day, recalled to CNN in 2014 how a near-by colleague was the only person in the ground to capture the incident.

“I missed the shot and so did most of the photographers,” Teixeira said. “But there was one guy by me – Ricardo Alfieri, a good friend – and I asked him: ‘Ricardo, did you capture the flare?’ He said: ‘Of course, about 4-5 shots.’”

Only hours after the tie – and after Brazilian football president Ricardo Teixeira intervened – were the images processed and the deceit unveiled. The photos then ran in the Brazilian network, Globo, the Monday after, and Fifa soon followed by awarding Brazil a 2-0 victory.

Mexico banned for Italia 90, four years after hosting the tournament

Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1986, but could not compete at Italia 90 after Fifa banned El Tri. As cited by the LA Times, the North American nation landed a two-year suspension after using four over-aged players in qualifiers for the 1989 World Youth Championship.

South Africa faced almost 30-year ban while apartheid ruled their land

Fifa convened in September 1961 with 67 member associations to discuss the problem of apartheid ruling the land in South Africa, as cited by the Financial Times. After days of talks the governing body eventually suspended Bafana Bafana from all international football.

The ban – which would mark the start of a much-wider boycott – would last for almost 30 years until after apartheid collapsed. It was not until 1992 that Fifa allowed South Africa to re-join, and took the footballing world to the country as they hosted the 2010 World Cup.

Germany and Japan banned from World Cups after World War II

Fifa organised the first World Cup post-World War II in Brazil in 1950, but neither Germany nor Japan were allowed to enter. There had not been a World Cup since the 1938 edition in France after the outbreak of war in Europe with the German invasion of Poland in 1939.

Germany would make their return to the World Cup in 1954 and won the competition held in Switzerland for their first of four titles. While Japan failed to qualify for the 1954 edition, and would not qualify for any tournament until their first with the 1998 edition in France.

Japan then shared hosting duties with South Korea in 2002, and they have qualified for all World Cups since 1998. Germany, meanwhile, hosted the tournament for the first time in 1974 – also returning their second title before wins in 1990 and 2014 – and again in 2006.

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