The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA /ˈfiːfə/ FEEF-ə; French for “International Federation of Association Football“) is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, futsal, and beach soccer. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which commenced in 1991.
FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations.
Although FIFA does not control the rules of football, that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board, it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorship. In 2017, FIFA had revenues of over US$734 million, for a net loss of $189 million, and had cash reserves of over US$930 million.
Reports by investigative journalists have linked FIFA leadership with corruption, bribery, and vote-rigging related to the election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the organization’s decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively. These allegations led to the indictments of nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five corporate executives by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. On 27 May 2015, several of these officials were arrested by Swiss authorities, who were launching a simultaneous but separate criminal investigation into how the organization awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Those among these officials who were also indicted in the U.S. are expected to be extradited to face charges there as well. Many officials were suspended by FIFA’s ethics committee including Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini. In early 2017 reports became public about FIFA president Gianni Infantino attempting to prevent the re-elections of both chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, during the FIFA congress in May 2017. On May 9, 2017, following Infantino’s proposal, FIFA Council decided not to renew the mandates of Borbély and Eckert. Together with the chairmen, eleven of 13 committee members were removed.