When FIFA was founded in 1904, there were seven member countries: France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The United States joined the Zurich, Switzerland-based organization in 1913.
FIFA's six confederations represent different regions of the world: UEFA (Europe), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (New Zealand and South Pacific island nations) and AFC (Asia).
In addition to the World Cup, which takes place every four years, FIFA organizes the FIFA Club World Cup, which began in 2000. Seven men's teams participate: winners from each of the six confederations, plus the winning team from the host country.
May 21, 1904 - FIFA is founded in Paris, to promote international football (soccer) tournaments.
1905 - England, which has its own Football Association dating back to 1863, becomes a member nation. The British initially resisted joining FIFA.
1913 - The United States Football Association, now called the United States Soccer Federation, joins FIFA.
July 13-30, 1930 - Uruguay hosts the first World Cup. Thirteen teams compete and Uruguay wins the tournament, defeating Argentina. Team USA places third.
1975 - Joseph "Sepp" Blatter of Switzerland joins FIFA as director of technical development programs, serving under President João Havelange of Brazil.
1981 - FIFA's executive committee names Blatter general secretary of the organization.
November 16-30, 1991 - China hosts the first Women's World Cup. Team USA defeats Norway in the final match.
June 8, 1998 - Blatter is elected president of FIFA, defeating Swedish soccer stalwart, Lennart Johansson.
May 21, 2001 - A company closely affiliated with FIFA, International Sports Media and Marketing (ISMM) is declared bankrupt in Swiss Court. ISMM was the parent company of International Sports and Leisure (ISL), which sold World Cup television rights and negotiated corporate sponsorships. FIFA brings charges against ISMM, claiming company executives diverted a $60 million payment from a licensee and deposited it in a secret bank account.
June 11, 2001 - Blatter faces a reckoning in the wake of the ISMM collapse, as officials from Europe's soccer leagues demand he answer 25 questions about his ties to the company and the future of FIFA.
July 7, 2001 - During a FIFA meeting in Buenos Aires, Blatter delivers a lengthy report about the impact of the ISMM bankruptcy on the organization and he pledges to usher in a new era of transparency.
February 28, 2002 - Farah Addo, vice president of the CAF confederation, tells the Daily Mail he was offered $100,000 to help Blatter win the election in 1998 but he turned the money down. He says 18 other officials accepted payments from Blatter's associates in exchange for votes. Blatter fires back that th