Ecuadorean referee jailed in drug case

The Ecuadorean referee who was part of Italy's controversial elimination from the 2002 World Cup was sentenced to two-and-a-half-years in prison on heroin-smuggling charges, court documents showed on Friday.

Byron Moreno, who was arrested last year at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after arriving on a commercial flight from Ecuador with bags of heroin attached to his body, was sentenced in a U.S. district court in New York.

He faced a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Moreno became the centre of controversy following his performance in Italy's World Cup match against South Korea when he sent off striker Francesco Totti and disallowed an Italian goal before the Asian hosts won, 2-1.

Moreno, 41, returned to Ecuador's football league after the World Cup but quit in 2003 after two suspensions from the domestic league, including a 20-game ban for adding on 12 minutes of injury-time in a game.