Just days before the vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts, FIFA was hit by further corruption allegations yesterday when three senior officials were accused by European media of having received secret payments.
Executive committee members Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay) and Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) were named as having allegedly received payoffs from world football's former marketing agency.
The three long-standing members of FIFA's ruling panel received kickbacks from marketing agency ISL from 1989-99, the BBC and Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger and Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The three media outlets said they obtained a secret ISL document listing the names and payments.
ISL and its parent company ISMM went bust in May 2001, leaving debts estimated at $300 million and plunging FIFA into a financial crisis. The collapse triggered one of Switzerland's biggest criminal fraud cases.
The BBC said the three men did not respond to requests for comment about the allegations.
In other soccer news:
* The United States wound up with what could be the toughest group at next summer's Women's World Cup, drawing North Korea, Colombia and Sweden. The top-ranked Americans were the last team to qualify for the 16-nation tournament, beating Italy in a home-and-home playoff on Saturday.
* Mississippi State's leading receiver, Chad Bumphis, will miss the Bulldogs' bowl game after breaking his collarbone during a 31-23 victory over Mississippi on Saturday.
* Arkansas State football coach Steve Roberts resigned after back-to-back 4-8 seasons.
* North Carolina A&T has fired Alonzo Lee as head coach after a 1-10 season.
* The Maryland Racing Commission has unanimously voted to reject plans for a shortened thoroughbred racing meet, jeopardizing the status of the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. The 8-0 vote throws the future of the sport in Maryland into doubt.
* Ursinus associate head football coach Chris Rusiewicz has been named AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
* Drexel freshman Dartaye Ruffin was named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week, the second time he has earned the award.
* Saint Joseph's freshman point guard Langston Galloway was selected Big 5 Player of the Week award after he averaged 17.5 points in two victories.
* La Salle senior guard Ashley Gale was named the Big 5 women's Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.