- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - A former World Cup soccer referee arrested in New York City has pleaded not guilty to heroin-smuggling charges.

Prosecutors allege Byron Moreno was caught in September at Kennedy Airport with bags of heroin attached to his body. He appeared Wednesday in Brooklyn court.

Moreno made some controversial decisions in a 2002 second-round match in which South Korea eliminated Italy. Players and officials from Italy had long labeled some of his calls suspicious.

Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, has said Moreno’s arrest appears to be “completely unrelated” to the sport.

Moreno’s next court date is Dec. 3.

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