Fifa corruption scandal: a timeline of events
The awarding of the World Cup tournaments to Qatar in 2022 and Russia in 2018 have been at the heart of the corruption scandal that led to Tuesday's drama in Zurich when Sepp Blatter resigned as Fifa president. Here's a timeline of events leading up to Blatter's decision:
December 2010: In a ceremony in Zurich, Fifa announce to general surprise that Qatar has won the right to stage the 22nd World Cup, taking 14 of 22 votes in the fourth round.
January 2011: Fifa president Sepp Blatter, speaking in the Qatari capital Doha ahead of the Asian Cup, says that he expects the tournament "will be held in winter".
May 2011: Allegations of corruption continue to blight the bidding process for both the 2022 and 2018 tournaments. A whistleblower, who is later revealed to be Phaedra Almajid, formerly part of the Qatari bid, claims that money was paid to Fifa's executive committee in order to buy votes.
July 2011: Almajid retracts her claims of corruption and insists that she wanted to exact revenge after losing her campaign job.
December 2012: Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of the Qatar 2022 supreme committee, insists staging the tournament in summer is feasible. A huge investment in infrastructure will create super-cooled stadia to protect fans and players against the heat.
September 2013: Uefa's 54 member associations back plans to move the tournament from its traditional June and July slot.
November 2013: Amnesty International uncover alleged "human rights abuses" on World Cup construction projects, releasing a report that details "an alarming level of exploitation".
January 2014: Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke says in a radio interview that the World Cup will not take place in June-July, but the world governing body insists that a decision is yet to be made.
June/July 2014: Pressure grows on Fifa at the Brazil World Cup to order a new vote on the 2022 tournament as a probe gets under way headed by US lawyer Michael J. Garcia, but Blatter vows to fight critics trying to "destroy" Fifa.
October 17 2014: Fifa's top judge says that it cannot release Garcia's final report of the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in full for legal
reasons with Garcia later complaining that a summary of his report misrepresented his conclusions.
November 18 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.
February 24: A Fifa World Cup task force recommends the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be held in winter, probably in November-December, to avoid the scorching summer temperatures in the Gulf state.
May 27: Top Fifa officials are taken into custody in Zurich for alleged racketeering, conspiracy and corruption over two decades while Swiss
authorities raid the FIFA headquarters looking for evidence linked to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
May 28: The US attorney general charges that Fifa officials took millions of dollars cash in return for helping to win the vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
June 3: Reports claim that Fifa's second most powerful official, Jérôme Valcke, knew about the South Africa payment to disgraced former Concacaf chief Jack Warner. Fifa denies that was the case, but at a hastily-arranged news conference its chief Sepp Blatter announces he is to resign.