Here is a timeline of the scandal that has engulfed Fifa in recent years.
- December 2010
Russia is awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar gets the 2022 hosting rights. It comes days after the BBC broadcast a Panorama expose of Fifa, claiming senior Fifa officials Nicolas Leoz, Issa Hayatou and Ricardo Teixeira - who went on to vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids - took bribes in the 1990s.
- February 2011
Fifa's ethics committee upheld three-year and one-year bans imposed respectively on executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii for breaches of Fifa's code of ethics following a Sunday Times investigation into wrongdoing during the 2018 and 2022 bidding campaigns.
- May 2011
Fifa suspends presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam and vice-president Jack Warner pending an investigation into claims they offered financial incentives to members of the Caribbean Football Union. It drops a complaint against president Sepp Blatter.
The successful Qatar 2022 team denied any wrongdoing with their winning bid, saying their name had been “dragged through the mud for no reason”.
Fifa sponsors Coca-Cola, adidas, Emirates and Visa raise concerns about the corruption claims surrounding officials.
- June 2011
Hammam is found guilty of bribery and banned from all international and national football activity for life. Warner escapes investigation after resigning from his position.
- July 2012
Unable to ignore growing criticism any longer, Fifa commissions a report into allegations of corruption in world football which is led by former US attorney and newly appointed head of Fifa's ethics committee Michael Garcia.
- June 2014
The Sunday Times reports it has received “hundreds of millions” of documents which it claims reveal that disgraced former Fifa executive committee member Hammam made payments to football officials in return for votes for Qatar.
- September 2014
Garcia completes his 430-page report into corruption allegations and sends it to Fifa.
- November 2014
Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa’s independent ethics committee, publishes a 42-page summary of Garcia’s investigation, effectively confirming Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts after finding breaches by them were “of very limited scope”.
- November 2014
Fifa lodges a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general over “possible misconduct” by individuals in connection with the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, but insists the investigation into the bidding process is concluded. Garcia calls the summary “incomplete and erroneous” and launches an appeal against it.
- December 2014
Garcia loses his appeal against Eckert’s review of his report and resigns as Fifa’s independent ethics investigator. The US lawyer issues a statement criticising Fifa’s “lack of leadership”, saying he cannot change the culture of the world governing body.
Fifa executives agree to publish a “legally appropriate version” of the report, but this has yet to happen.
- May 27th, 2015
Six Fifa officials are arrested in dawn raids at a hotel in Zurich. They are later charged by US authorities along with three other Fifa officials over allegations of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies spanning 24 years. They are accused of breeding decades of “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” corruption within Fifa by the US justice department. Fifa say presidential elections will go ahead in two days.
Meanwhile, the Swiss authorities raid Fifa headquarters, gathering data and documents for a separate investigation into allegations of criminal mismanagement and money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids. Fifa says there will be no redraw of the World Cup bids.
Uefa subsequently calls for the Fifa presidential election to be postponed, while FA chairman Greg Dyke says Blatter has to go as Fifa president to help rebuild trust in the body.
- May 28th, 2015
Fifa is threatened with the collapse of lucrative World Cup sponsorship deals. Visa threatens to break off its contract, while other global brands such as Nike, adidas, Budweiser and Kia issue strongly worded statements putting pressure on Fifa to take immediate action to restore its reputation.
Prime minister David Cameron backs calls for Blatter to quit. Russian president Vladimir Putin claims the United States is meddling in Fifa's affairs in an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.
The head of Uefa, Michel Platini, says he has not ruled out the possibility of a World Cup boycott if Blatter is re-elected. He tells a press conference he has personally pleaded with the long-term leader to step down, adding his voice to the list of politicians and sponsors demanding urgent action.
FA vice-chairman and Manchester United director David Gill warns he will refuse to take up Britain's vice-presidency if Blatter wins a fifth term as president. He says it would be "futile" to serve under Blatter if he did not realise the "seismic" events of this week were a resignation issue.
Blatter, on stage at the opening ceremony of Fifa’s annual congress meeting in Zurich, shows no signs of bowing to pressure.
He says: “I know many people hold me ultimately responsible for the action and reputation for the global football community, whether it is a decision for the hosting of a World Cup or a corruption scandal.
“I cannot monitor everyone all of the time - if people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it.”
- May 29th, 2015
Blatter is re-elected in Zurich despite international pressure to step down.
More than a third of Fifa's 209 associations vote for Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, as significant numbers turn against Blatter following the crisis that has struck the world governing body.
The Swiss bureaucrat wins the first round by 133 votes to 73, but fails to gain a two-thirds majority, and Prince Ali, the 39-year-old Sandhurst graduate, withdraws from the contest rather than force a second round of voting.
After his re-election is confirmed, Blatter says: “Thank you that you accepted me, that for the next four years I will be in command of this boat called Fifa, and we will bring it back, off shore, and back to the beach, we will bring it back, where finally football can be played, beach soccer can be played everywhere.”
Dyke, who earlier backed the idea of a co-ordinated European boycott of the World Cup, says: “This is not over by any means.”
- May 30th, 2015
The Duke of Cambridge wades into the row, saying world football’s governing body must “show that it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first“.
FA president William urges sponsors and other backers to press for reform after a week which saw 18 people connected to football indicted on corruption charges by the US justice department.
Speaking at Wembley ahead of the FA Cup Final, he says: "There seems to be a huge disconnect between the sense of fair play that guides those playing and supporting the game, and the allegations of corruption that have long lingered around the management of the sport internationally.
"The events in Zurich this week represent Fifa's Salt Lake City moment, when the International Olympic Committee went through a similar period of serious allegations. Fifa, like the IOC, must now show that it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first.
“Those backing Fifa, such as sponsors and the regional confederations, must do their bit to press these reforms - we are doing football and its fans no favours if we do not.”
- May 31st, 2015
British culture secretary John Whittingdale tells the Sunday Times that England and Uefa are right to consider turning their backs on the World Cup, adding "no options should be ruled out".
Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham adds his voice to calls for England to pull out, given the "current appalling state of Fifa".
Chris Bryant, British Labour's shadow culture secretary, urges Mr Cameron to hold an emergency summit over the corruption claims to ensure Britain does not "idly stand by".
- June 2nd, 2015
Sepp Blatter says he will step down as Fifa president at a hastily arranged press conference.
The Swiss calls for an extraordinary congress “as soon as possible”, saying ”a new president will be elected to follow me”.
His announcement comes after Fifa admits it paid US $10 million destined for the South Africa World Cup to an account controlled by Warner.
The payment followed a letter from the South African FA to Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke.