When FIFA was founded in 1904, there were seven member countries: France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The United States joined the Zurich, Switzerland-based organization in 1913.
FIFA's six confederations
represent different regions of the world: UEFA
(North and Central America), CONMEBOL
(South America), OFC
(New Zealand and South Pacific island nations) and AFC
In addition to the World Cup, which takes place every four years, FIFA organizes the FIFA Club World Cup, which began in 2000. Seven men's teams participate: winners from each of the six confederations, plus the winning team from the host country. A similar tournament for women's teams was proposed in 2015.
May 21, 1904 - FIFA is founded in Paris, to promote international football (soccer) tournaments.
The United States Football Association, now called the United States Soccer Federation, joins FIFA.
July 13-30, 1930 -
Uruguay hosts the first World Cup. Thirteen teams compete
and Uruguay wins the tournament,
defeating Argentina. Team USA places third.
1975 - Joseph "Sepp" Blatter of Switzerland joins FIFA as director of technical development programs, serving under President João Havelange of Brazil.
1981 - FIFA's executive committee names Blatter general secretary of the organization.
November 16-30, 1991 - China hosts the first Women's World Cup.
Team USA defeats Norway in the final match.
June 8, 1998 - Blatter is elected president of FIFA, defeating Swedish soccer stalwart, Lennart Johansson.
May 21, 2001 -
A company closely affiliated with FIFA, International Sports Media and Marketing (ISMM) is declared bankrupt in Swiss Court.
ISMM was the parent company of International Sports and Leisure (ISL), which sold World Cup television rights and negotiated corporate sponsorships. FIFA brings charges against ISMM, claiming company executives diverted a $60 million payment from a licensee and deposited it in a secret bank account.
June 11, 2001 - Blatter faces a reckoning in the wake of the ISMM collapse, as officials from Europe's soccer leagues demand he answer 25 questions about his ties to the company and the future of FIFA.
July 7, 2001 - During a FIFA meeting in Buenos Aires,
Blatter delivers a lengthy report about the impact of the ISMM bankruptcy on the organization and he pledges to usher in a new era of transparency.
February 28, 2002 -
Farah Addo, vice president of the CAF confederation, tells the Daily Mail he was offered $100,000
to help Blatter win the election in 1998 but he turned the money down. He says 18 other officials accepted payments from Blatter's associates in exchange for votes.
Blatter fires back that the allegations are baseless, with a statement on FIFA.com
March 7, 2002 - FIFA's executive committee authorizes an internal investigation into the organization's finances.
May 3, 2002 -
In a review not released to the public, FIFA General Secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen claims there is such widespread corruption within the organization, criminal charges may be warranted, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper reports five top officials demand Blatter step down. He vows to fight the charges.
May 10, 2002 -
Members of FIFA's Executive Committee file a formal complaint
against Blatter with Swiss authorities. Blatter issues a statement in response,
"I remain unperturbed by the prospect of a possible investigation."
May 29, 2002 - Blatter is re-elected FIFA president,
defeating a reformist challenger, Issa Hayatou
of Cameroon by a wide margin, 139-56.
May 31, 2002 -
FIFA's Executive Committee withdraws its complaint against Blatter. Zen-Ruffinen, the author of the report alleging criminal misconduct, resigns.
June 9, 2006 - FIFA establishes an ethics committee
to address allegations of bribery, match fixing, betting and other illegal practices.
September 12, 2006 - The Daily Mail reports
FIFA Vice President Jack Warner conspired with his son, Daryan Warner, to illegally sell thousands of World Cup tickets. Daryan Warner pleads guilty in 2013 to money laundering and wire fraud
for his role in the ticket scam. He forfeits $1.1 million.
September 15, 2006 - Former Olympic champ Lord Sebastian Coe of England is appointed chairman of FIFA's new ethics committee.
Coe says in a statement, "Inspiring young people into sport is a personal passion of mine. To do this, we must protect and promote the ethics and morals of sport for future generations."
October 23, 2006 -
FIFA's Ethics Committee holds its first meeting. In a statement,
Blatter says the group will enforce a revised code of ethics. Blatter says soccer's exploding popularity "has also attracted some of the dangers and vices of our modern society, including corruption, doping, racism, illegal betting and other forms of cheating."
December 6, 2006 -
The Executive Committee declines to take disciplinary action against Jack Warner for World Cup ticket sales but issues two recommendations
:"The Executive Committee expresses disapproval of vice-president Jack A. Warner's conduct and reminds him to exercise the requisite level of care in ticketing matters in the future and to strictly abide by all directives. Jack A. Warner should, in particular, ensure that his son, Daryan Warner, does not abuse the position held by his father."
October 20, 2010 -
Two members of FIFA's Executive Committee are suspended
after a British newspaper reports they offered to sell their World Cup votes.
November 18, 2010 - FIFA confirms the suspension
of four additional officials for suspected ethical breaches.
November 29, 2010 -
Ahead of the vote for the host countries of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, the BBC reports
three senior FIFA officials who will participate in the selection process took bribes from International Sports & Leisure during the 1990s. One of the officials, Ricardo Teixeira, is the former son-in-law of former FIFA President João Havelange.
December 2, 2010 -
The winning bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals are announced
. Russia is named host of the 2018 tournament
and Qatar is selected for 2022,
winning out over the United States, Japan and Australia.
May 24, 2011 -
Chuck Blazer, an American member of the executive committee, accuses FIFA officials Jack Warner and Mohamed bin Hammam of bribery. He alleges the two gave money
to members of the Caribbean Football Union to cast ballots for Bin Hammam in his campaign to become FIFA's new president.
May 29, 2011 - FIFA suspends Warner and Bin Hammam
as it launches a probe into the alleged vote buying scam. According to a statement, FIFA's Ethics