Italy's nemesis from 2002 has been arrested for allegedly possessing six kilograms of heroin whilst at John F. Kennedy airport...Controversial former referee Byron Moreno, who was at the centre of the 2002 World Cup refereeing scandal, has been arrested at John F. Kennedy airport, New York, for allegedly being in possession of six kilograms of heroin.
Moreno had the drug concealed in his underwear as he passed through security, according to Cre.com.ec and Rainews.
The Ecuadorian is best remembered for refereeing the infamous second round game at the 2002 World Cup between co-hosts South Korea and Italy.
The 2002 competition has gone down in infamy due to the huge number of refereeing mistakes that helped eliminate a string of top nations, and also ensured that Korea made it all the way to the semi-finals.
During their final two group games against Croatia and Mexico, Italy had four perfectly good goals disallowed, but somehow managed to scrape through to the second round where they met South Korea. Against Guus Hiddink’s men, Moreno chalked off another valid Italy goal, a golden goal from Damiano Tommasi which would have taken them to the next round. Francesco Totti was sent off for diving when replays suggested he had lost his footing, while the Koreans - who repeatedly went unpunished for apparent foul play - were awarded a controversial penalty for a Christian Panucci tugging offence. Italy eventually lost after Ahn Jung-Hwan’s golden winner, but the match and Moreno represent a black mark in Italian sport.
Moreno would later that year receive a 20 match ban after he played an extra 13 minutes of stoppage time during an Ecuadorian league match between Deportiva Universita de Quito and Barcelona Sporting Club. During this time Deportiva scored twice to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory. After retuning from his suspension, Moreno was suspended again after controversially sending off three players in one match. He retired from officiating shortly after.
Today's events will undoubtedly hit the headlines all over Italy.
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