FIFA have confirmed they have charged Ecuador in relation to discriminatory chants allegedly made by the South American country’s supporters during the tournament opener on Sunday afternoon.
Ecuador defeated hosts Qatar 2-0 in the first game of the World Cup, but chants reportedly directed at Chile – relating to their failed legal case to replace Ecuador at the tournament – were heard during the game.
World football’s governing body, who famously take matters of discrimination very seriously, have now confirmed the charge – the first of the tournament – and cited the section of its disciplinary code relating to discrimination.
Ecuador secured their place at the finals by finishing fourth in South American qualifying. For a short while in September, however, it was reported they could be stripped of their place over claims they had fielded an ineligible player during qualifying.
Defender Byron Castillo played in eight of Ecuador’s qualifiers, helping them secure their berth at the tournament.
FIFA’s appeal committee eventually ruled that Ecuador had not broken any rules and were free to compete at the tournament after all.
The charge is against Ecuador’s football federation, who, as with the football associations of all nations at the World Cup, will be held responsible for their supporters’ behaviour at games.
Ecuador’s supporters gained global attention during the win against Qatar for chanting ‘we want beer,’ – a reference to the eleventh-hour ban on beer in non-corporate areas of the World Cup stadiums.