Castillo’s background has been shrouded in questions for several years after a wider investigation into player registrations in Ecuador looked into a whole bunch of cases and resulted in punishments for no less than 75 youth players found to have falsified records. Wary of a mistake that may jeopardize Ecuador’s World Cup hopes, officials from the national soccer federation had held off choosing Castillo until this yr.
Two years ago, in actual fact, the president of a special investigation commission convened by the federation appeared to suggest Castillo was Colombian, something that Chilean officials now say they’ve substantiated.
“The extent, each in quantity and quality, of the knowledge and evidence that we now have been in a position to collect has surprised even us,” Eduardo Carlezzo, a lawyer representing the Chilean federation, said Wednesday. Carlezzo claimed that along with an Ecuadorean birth certificate utilized by Castillo, there was also a Colombian one for a toddler with the same name born in 1995 and whose parents have the identical names as Castillo’s. “How could we not act with this level of evidence in hands?” Carlezzo said.
Concern over Castillo’s eligibility appeared to have concerned Ecuadorean officials as well. In March 2021, Carlos Manzur, the vice chairman of Ecuador’s soccer federation, suggested as much in comments reported by the local news media.
“I believe it’s a matter of playing it secure, avoiding problems,” Manzur told reporters on the time. “I believe he’s a superb player. If it were as much as me, I’d not have him play for the national team. I’d not take that risk. I’d not risk every thing we’re doing.”
A few month later, an Ecuadorean court provided Castillo with an identification document that appeared to pave the way in which for him to make his national team debut, which he did about five months later in a set of games that included a 0-0 home draw with Chile. He has since played in eight games overall, including a 2-0 victory at Chile in November that every one but ended the latter’s hopes of qualification.
After questions over Castillo’s eligibility were reported in regional media outlets, Manzur, the Ecuador soccer official, declared that any inconsistencies in Castillo’s documentation had been corrected and that his Ecuadorean identity had been confirmed. “The national team waited until that was corrected to include the player into its squad,” said Manzur.