The Football Association were offered votes for bribes during their unsuccessful bid for the 2006 World Cup, according to former executive director David Davies.
The offer of votes for cash was made in March 2000 by "an individual well-connected in international footballing circles", says Davies in his book 'FA Confidential'.
Davies does not reveal the name of the person who made the offer to former chief executive Adam Crozier, nor their relationship to FIFA executive committee members who vote on the hosts.
The allegations could, however, cast a shadow over England's current bid for the 2018 World Cup.
Davies says in his book: "The FA were offered votes for cash during the bidding to host the 2006 World Cup finals.
"A bribe. An irregular payment. A sweetener. Call it what you like. Those of us at the FA who heard this corrupt proposal were shocked."
Davies listened in on the phonecall when Crozier rang the individual back after an initial approach.
"We believed the offer was serious. Again Adam was offered World Cup votes in return for a substantial payment," Davies writes, before saying the offer was refused in no uncertain terms.
"That would never be the FA's way. Some countries could take short cuts, could walk in the sport's shadows. Not us."
Davies added that he believed the approach was reported to FIFA.
"I understand the individual's scandalous proposal was reported to FIFA. To this day I have no knowledge of what they did or didn’t do about it."
Davies said the person who made the offer was foreign and not a member of FIFA's executive committee.
An FA spokesman said it would be almost impossible to investigate Davies' claims as all those involved had since left the organisation.
The spokesman said: "This is an anecdotal story by someone who left the organisation two years ago about a phonecall to someone [Crozier] who left the organisation six years ago, from an unnamed indivual who was not on FIFA’s executive committee."
FIFA denied any knowledge of the matter being reported to them at the time.
A spokesman said: "We have no knowledge of this and therefore have no comments."