(CNN) -- The bid process has been by far the most controversial that FIFA has ever overseen. Its decision to decide the fate of both the 2018 and 2022 bids at the same time has been widely criticized for encouraging vote collusion between bids -- an accusation FIFA deny.
But it was the revelations by the British newspaper the Sunday Times that has marred the process. Undercover journalists secretly filmed two members of FIFA's then 24-strong executive committee allegedly offering to sell their votes. Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti were both suspended by FIFA's ethics panel following the revelations, reducing the voting number to 22.
The same ethics panel also cleared the Qatar 2022 and the Spain-Portugal 2018 bid from colluding to vote for each other, allegations that had been made following the Sunday Times investigation. Another investigation by the British press, closer to the bid date, has made further uncomfortable accusations about three other FIFA members.
Last Monday the BBC alleged that Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football, Nicolas Leoz, president of the South American football confederation and Ricardo Teixeira, head of the Brazilian football association, all took bribes during the 1990s.
The finding by FIFA is just the latest chapter in the ongoing story of the World Cup bidding process which crescendos with the vote on Thursday.
CNN takes a pictorial look at the key events since the bidding process for both tournaments began at the start of 2009.