The Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia, citing irregularities in the school's football program, voted last night to suspend the program for the next school year.

Trustee Joseph Webb said it was necessary to act now to allow football players to transfer to other schools in time to become eligible to play in the coming season.

A recommendation to suspend the 1990-91 football season had been pending before the board since April 17.

The recommendation was made after reports that academically ineligible players had participated in the program.

The board, meeting for three hours in closed session, also received a subcommittee report that recommended five candidates to serve as interim president, replacing Rafael Cortada, who was fired last month.

Those recommended, according to board sources, were E. Dave Chatman, president of the UDC Faculty Senate; Beth Ausbrooks, an urban studies professor who is a member of the Faculty Senate; Miles M. Fisher IV, executive director of the Board of Trustees; Richard Fairley, who was recently named executive vice president; and Claude A. Ford, vice president for institutional advancement. Ford has twice before served as interim president.

The board will interview the candidates, sources said, and may make a selection within two weeks.

Cortada, who had 2 1/2 years remaining on his contract with UDC, has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the board, claiming defamation of character and breach of contract.

The board discussed a possible settlement of the lawsuit during the closed session, but reached no agreement, sources said.