What happened with FIFA? A timeline of a five-year scandal

What happened with FIFA? A timeline of a five-year scandal


FBI agents bring out boxes after an operation inside the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) offices in Miami Beach, Florida.
FBI agents bring out boxes after an operation inside the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) offices in Miami Beach, Florida.
Photo: Reuters

May 14, 2010

FIFA receives official bid documents from Australia, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Portugal, and the United States of America to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

May 16, 2010

British newspaper Mail On Sunday reports alleged telephone conversation recordings of English bid leader David Triesman accusing Spain and Russia committee members of bribery at the 2010 World Cup

May 26, 2010

Executive committee members Jack Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam placed under investigation by FIFA for alleged bribery charges. Warner claims the accusations were all part of a ruse to force him to withdraw from competition for FIFA’s presidency. At the time, he was the only candidate running against Joseph (Sepp) Blatter.

May 27, 2010

Blatter placed under investigation by FIFA after Bin Hammam claimed Blatter was aware of the bribery that happened behind the scenes. He is cleared by FIFA’s Ethics Committee two days later. 

FIFA President Sepp Blatter holds his notes as he delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich. Photo: AFP


November 18, 2010

FIFA’s Ethics Committee suspends executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii after British Sunday Times newspaper reports they had offered to sell their bids. Adamu and Temarii both are fined and received bans from voting in the next votes. Both appeal for their cases, but were unsuccessful.

November 26, 2010

Three more FIFA official from Cameroon, Paraguay and Brazil are reported by BBC to have taken bribes from the International Sports and Leisure (ISL) marketing company, a company that used to hold marketing and television rights for FIFA. Investigations led by the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission revealed that Cameroon's Issa Hayatou had received a sum of money from the ISL to finance the African Football Confederation’s 40th anniversary. The other two officials were also found guilty of receiving donations from ISL and resigned from their positions.

December 2, 2010

Russia and Qatar are announced to be hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively, despite FIFA’s initial claim that hosting the World Cup in Qatar during the summer months would be considered “a potential health risk for players, officials, the FIFA family and spectators.”

UEFA President Michel Platini (C) speaks with FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) and Jerome Valcke, Secretary General of the FIFA, at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo: Reuters


May 10, 2011

A whistleblower, later revealed to be Phaedra Almajid previously of the Qatari bid, claims bribery was involved in the bidding process to secure Qatar as host for the World Cup 2022.

May 29, 2011

Bin Hammam is banned from entering the FIFA leadership election.

June 1, 2011

Blatter is re-elected to serve as president of FIFA for his fourth term at the 61st FIFA Congress at Hallenstadion, Zurich. He vows to learn from past mistakes.

July 23, 2011

Bin Hammam is banned for life by FIFA after a two-day hearing into bribery allegations. The ban bars Bin Hammam from “taking part in any kind of foot-ball related activity” nationally or internationally for life. The ban is annulled a year later due to lack of evidence.

October 21, 2011

Blatter announces the introduction of four new sub units within FIFA, and a “Committee of Good Governance” that aims to repair FIFA’s reputation.

Nasser Al Khater Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee Deputy CEO, left, Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 World Cup organising committee, centre, and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke give a press conference, in Doha. Qatar. Photo: AP


April 24, 2012

The Council of Europe publishes a report criticising Blatter’s handling of the previous bribery allegations. This report, however, does not claim he was involved in any of the corruption happening behind the scenes.

March 11, 2013

FIFA’s Ethics Committee suspend executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka. This decision was reportedly a result of alleged violations of FIFA’s Code of Ethics including bribery and corruption as well as a conflict of interest. This decision is then altered to a lifetime ban, which was appealed unsuccessfully.

April 30, 2013

Blatter is cleared of any allegations of bribery through an internal investigation led by FIFA’s Ethics Committee. Other executive members, including Ricardo Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz, are found guilty of accepting illegal payments from International Sports and Leisure (ISL) between 1992 - 2000.

November 13, 2014

Chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, releases a 42-page summary of the committees' findings on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. The summary cleared Qatar and Russia of any alleged corruption. Michael J. Garcia, chairman of the Ethics Committee and author of the full report then says the summary is “incomplete”.

Michael J. Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee attends a news conference at the at the Home of FIFA in Zurich. Photo: Reuters


December 17, 2014

Garcia resigns as chairman of the Ethics Committee's investigative body after FIFA’s decision to decline his appeal to publish the full report of his findings.

December 19, 2014

FIFA publishes a redacted version of Garcia’s full report on the decisions to host the upcoming World Cups in Qatar and Russia. This decision was backed unanimously by FIFA’s executive committee.

May 27, 2015

Swiss authorities take to FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich and arrest seven people upon the request of U.S. officials. On the same day, Switzerland announces they are leading an investigation into the bidding process of the upcoming World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

May 28, 2015

Michel Platini, president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), holds a press conference and demands for Blatter's resignation. Blatter refuses, ad Platini hints that should Blatter be re-elected and adds that "UEFA might have to discuss its relations with FIFA" 

May 29, 2015

Blatter is re-elected in his fifth term to serve as FIFA's president. In his acceptance speech, he claims that he is"... the president now, the president of everybody."  



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