Former member of CONI committee Franco Chimenti says Italy still have a chance to play in the World Cup if Ecuador are banned: ‘It’s more concrete than what people think.’
The Azzurri incredibly failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second successive time after losing 1-0 against North Macedonia in the playoff semifinals in March.
However, Franco Chimenti, the current president of Italy’s Golf Federation and a former member of the CONI committee, sees a concrete chance for the Azzurri to play in Qatar in November.
“There is still a chance to see Italy at the World Cup and it’s more concrete than what people think,” he told GR Parlamento, as quoted by La Repubblica.
“Apparently, Ecuador have used a player who was not allowed to be on the pitch and could pay for it.
“If it happens, another country should replace them and the FIFA rules state that the highest country in the FIFA ranking should be recalled, at the moment, it is Italy.”
Last week, FIFA announced they were officially looking into allegations made by the Chilean FA that Ecuador falsified the documents of player Byron Castillo.
Castillo played eight matches throughout qualifying – including twice against Chile, who failed to reach the World Cup, and Ecuador picked up four points against La Roja.
According to La Repubblica, FIFA could take two different decisions. Ecuador could lose the points gained from matches in which Castillo featured, allowing Chile to finish above in the qualification group.
However, the other option is to exclude Ecuador and give the pass for the World Cup to another country. In this case, the Azzurri would have a chance, being the highest team in the FIFA ranking at the moment.
It must be noted that FIFA President Infantino played down reports that Italy could be recalled for the 2022 World Cup. ‘Please, be serious,’ he told journalists on his latest visit to Florence.