The Byron Castillo case generates daily repercussions. The firm position of the Chilean Football Federation, the responses from Ecuador and the irony of the player through social networks, enlarge the debate. Added to that are the footballer’s past irregularities that have been uncovered in recent days. In this context, Eduardo Carlezzo, ANFP lawyer, gave clues to the strategy that Chile will follow and responded to the defense raised by Ecuador.
“The only argument that the Ecuadorian Football Federation has, and that was already foreseen in our allegations to FIFA, is the antecedent of habeas data, but we have already explained that this does not apply to the case. It does not validate nationality”, Eduardo Carlezzo advances in conversation with the newspaper ACE.
Why is it invalid?
Habeas data is a legal action known in many constitutions. It is an argument that guarantees a citizen to have an identification. In this case, it was as a result of a legal report from the National Directorate of Civil Registry of Ecuador. There it was identified, in a very clear way, that the departure certificate that Byron presented did not exist in his internal files. In other words, the highest authority was not aware of that certificate. Based on that report, it was concluded that this document did not exist, that the record that referred to it was not valid either because it belonged to another certificate and that there were several inconsistencies. Thus, it was noted in the player’s registration that he would have a record blocked for contravention.
And he was left without identification?
Sure. And when that happened, the player used the instrument of habeas data to eliminate that data. The judge of the Provincial Court of Justice of Guayas determined that the Civil Registry should erase that observation on his identity card, until a competent criminal trial declared it null.
In concrete terms, does that mean that Byron Castillo received his identity card for a constitutional right and is it not synonymous with the fact that he is really Ecuadorian?
That’s how it is. We are even interested in people reading the ruling, because at no time does it mention whether the birth certificate was valid or not, whether there was a Colombian certificate or not, or whether he could play for the National Team. The limits of a habeas data is very limited.
In El Mercurio, the Ecuadorian lawyer (Celso Vásconez) uses responses such as “I don’t think the document is false” or “if it is proven that the player falsified documents…”. Does it imply that the Federation of that country has already opened up to the possibility that the soccer player is not Ecuadorian?
I understand that if. The Federation begins to prepare a different strategy, to say that it has been manipulated and has not been blamed. And therefore, if someone has to be punished, it has to be the player and not the Federation.
Are they leaving him alone?
I do not know.
Is Chile ready for this strategy?
The FIFA disciplinary committee determines that the Federation, in cases like this, has strict, independent responsibility if it is carelessness and negligence. If you call it, the Federation is in solidarity for that fact. In our claim we state that the Federation has this responsibility. But, to broaden the analysis, we show a chain of actions in which the Federation had full knowledge of the facts. He even separated the player from a South American 2017 hours before the competition started. In addition, we have a crucial document, which is the heart of our complaint: a report from the Investigation Commission of the Ecuadorian Federation in which it analyzed all the player’s background and did its own investigations and concluded that Byron Castillo was Colombian.
With all these tests, is Chile closer to the World Cup today?
It is not an easy matter. Taking out a team qualified for the World Cup would be something unprecedented, therefore, we know that FIFA will have all consideration and will observe the facts calmly. But I also say that we have brought a very large burden of proof to FIFA. And when we see that the only response of the Ecuadorian Federation is habeas data, it is perceived that their allegation is very weak. (D)