Friday is progressing and for Chile the blow is hard. Many of them led a real vigil: they followed the defeat of the Reds against Tunisia in the Kirin Cup, in the middle of the night, and they waited awake for what was much more important: the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee regarding the complaint lodged by the Chilean federation, regarding the possible irregular participation of Byron Castillo as an Ecuadorian selected in the last Qualifiers. The key to accessing the World Cup by administrative means.
The door slam was loud. The trial court of world football’s governing body dismissed the Chilean accusation and ratified what had been resolved on the pitch, in which Gustavo Alfaro’s team secured fourth place in South America . In two paragraphs of a few lines, the festive atmosphere with which the day had started was over. “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee rejects all the charges against the Ecuadorian Football Federation,” said the first.
The second adds: “FIFA’s disciplinary proceedings against the Ecuadorian Football Federation are declared closed”. In the countryside, the festive atmosphere with which the day had opened gives way to stern faces. The illusion of reaching Qatar landed abruptly.
At the ANFP, certainty immediately set in. ‘We’ll go to CAS,’ organization source confirmed to El Deportivo long before Pablo Milad and Eduardo Carlezzo gave talk in which they would also explain the next steps of the Chilean legal strategy. Although there is a second instance within FIFA, the Appeals Chamber, it goes without saying that it is almost impossible to overturn the decision there. In this sense, the use of the highest sports ground, based in Lausanne, also in Switzerland, appears as the last card. Chile is ready to play it.
Carlezzo was indeed responsible for reporting on the new efforts. The first, fundamental for the structuring of the new defense, as Milad argues, will be to know the arguments that support the rejection of the Chilean position. It will be these reasons that the Brazilian lawyer will try to contradict in the two remaining stages. At the end of this procedure, the FIFA Appeals Chamber will be seized, a mandatory body before seizing the CAS. After this sentence, there are 21 days to submit the charges to court.
Therefore, a series of formalities must be completed for the Lausanne-based organization to agree to the opening of the respective file. The first is economic. The court requests the advance payment of the fees claimed by the three judges who will carry out the background check and who, in fine, will decide the dispute. They are high-level lawyers, specialists in sports law. The cost is variable and is estimated between 45,000 dollars and 90,000 Swiss francs, the official currency of the organization. That is between 38 and 76 million dollars. Although the figure seems significant, the magnitude of the profits at stake justifies the expense, beyond the weakness of the ANFP coffers.
However, the big issue is not the cost, but the time. Considering that the World Cup is scheduled for November, the only viable option is to request an abbreviated procedure. This scenario is not too flattering for Chilean interests either. “In a normal procedure, the resolution will never be before the World Cup”, assures a Chilean lawyer who has pleaded before the CAS and who knows in detail how it works.
The other major difficulty is a key element in the analysis of the possibility of a faster procedure: the need to have the commitment of the counterparty to request it. And, given the level of annoyance and tension generated by the Chilean judicial offensive in recent months, it seems unlikely that Ecuador has the will to reach an agreement in this regard.
“We believe that those who give nationality are the authorities and that no federation can challenge them. So, I think that is the consideration that should have been taken today by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. And I don’t think there will be another consideration if the ANFP decides to go to other bodies. The case will not change. We will therefore continue to sleep peacefully as a federation,” said Francisco Egas, helmsman of the Ecuadorian Federation.
In any case, if the Guayas federation does not accept a faster procedure, there would be a last option for the court to adopt a precautionary measure until the substance of the conflict is resolved. However, once again, according to the specialists consulted by El Deportivo, this path seems unlikely.
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