Former member of the TAS anticipates what is coming for the ANFP in the Byron Castillo case and sends a powerful message: “I don’t think the decision will be reversed”

Gerardo Acosta is an authorized voice to analyze the course of the controversy between Chile and Ecuador by Byron Castillo. the Paraguayan lawyer for eight years he joined the list of eligible lawyers by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, TAS, for its acronym in French, to integrate the panels that must resolve the differences that reach the highest instance in legal matters that world sport considers. In that scenario, knows in detail the forms and procedures that must be followed and, mainly, the criteria that are usually adopted in this type of case, especially in the emblematic ones, such as the one that compromises the parties that dispute the last quota in the World Cup in Qatar. In fact, in the dialogue with Sportingthe jurist will place it at the level of the one that involved Luis Suarez for biting Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup, or another cause that had Chile as the protagonist: the challenge to the nationality of Nelson Cabrera, who defended Bolivia in the Qualifiers for Russia 2018, also headed by Eduardo Carlezzo. That time the red added new pointsalthough in the global recalculation it ended up favoring Peru, a scenario that could even repeat itself.

The professional starts by explaining the procedural aspect. “The case is appealable to the CAS. The deadline to appeal is 21 days from the notification of the complete resolution. Chile is going to ask for the fundamentals. Surely, you will have them on Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s where time begins to run. The ANFP can file the appeal in five days. As soon as it is done, the counterparty, which in this case is FIFA, has 10 days to answer the appeal.. Everything will depend on the speed with which Chile presents its substantiated appeal”, he maintains. The last expression constitutes, in itself, a new element for the cause. Ecuador has warned that it will not agree to a shorter procedure. In practice, because it suits him to extend the definition until after the event that will be held in Qatar from November.

Gerardo Acosta, Paraguayan lawyer who joined the TAS.
Gerardo Acosta, Paraguayan lawyer who joined the TAS.

Acosta continues in his explanation. “Chile is going to ask for an abbreviated procedure. The counterpart was never Ecuador. Ecuador was in the procedure circumstantially because one of its players has been mentioned. Ecuador could present itself as a counterpart. It’s like in a criminal trial. FIFA is the equivalent of the prosecution, so to speak. Ecuador will most likely participate in the process as an intervener, but Chile litigates against the sanction applied by FIFA. Its counterpart is FIFA“, establishes.

For that reason, he insists that an abbreviated procedure should not be agreed with the federation chaired by Francisco Egas. “The agreement has to be with FIFA. Ecuador as a third party cannot object to the abbreviated procedure. If you do, the TAS may get”, he warns. “If Ecuador does not agree there would be bad faith. I think your lawyers will agree. Especially with a resolution like now. I don’t know how afraid they could be“, Add.

Then go straight into the background. And in that analysis, Chile does not fare well. “I still think that the ANFP is wrong. That the decisions are adjusted to law. FIFA does not have the power to define a public document. That power is not arrogated. It defines nationality based on documents issued by a public authority. Until that authority says otherwise, that is valid. FIFA sanctions the use of false documents, but who determines it is a national authority. That is the mistake made by the ANFP“, establishes.

In the same sense, he responds to the sayings of Eduardo Carlezzo, who on Friday was emphatic. “The player joked with the system by not attending a hearing and none of it had any effect. What else is needed? It clearly appears that anything we can present would not be sufficient to validate the claim. Sad day for football and fair play. The message is clear: cheating is allowed. We will appeal to the TAS”, he declared. “I’m not saying he’s not right, but rather that he wants FIFA to judge the authenticity of the document and FIFA doesn’t have that power,” insists Acosta.

Acosta takes up the procedural reasoning. There, he opens a light so that the dreaded deadlines can be met, considering the proximity of the World Cup dispute. “Once the written phase is over, which is the one that can be accelerated, a hearing, an oral hearing, oral arguments are normally requested. If there is an expedited procedure, it will be a little faster. The panel will issue the award, dispositive only first, whether it upholds or dismisses the appeal. It’s the only way it’s resolved on October 30”.

This consideration is exemplified with a practical case that involves him and Chilean soccer. “I represented Melipilla, in March. We lost. To date, we do not have the reasons why we lost the case. The expedited procedure will cause the resolution to exist, but the grounds will not be known. They will not give the times”, poses.

What it does attest to is the objectivity with which the court acts. “If a FIFA body is wrong, the CAS panels have no problem revoking. It depends on the case. In this case, honestly, I accessed a lot of information. I was convinced that this was going to happen. I don’t think a CAS panel will reverse it. The panel’s decision depends very much on the training of each member of the panel. Of the legal formation of each one. It’s a pretty rare case. Speaking of percentage does not serve as a parameter. Disciplinary conflicts are not a very high percentage in the TAS. Only the biggest: Suárez, this, Cabrera. It is 80 percent for contractual issues and the other 20 for disciplinary issues”, sentence.

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