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 Zrich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. Member countries must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Asia, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America.
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 2013, FIFA had revenues of over 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, for a net profit of 72 million, and had cash reserves of over 1.4 billion U.S. dollars.
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 Borbly 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 Borbly and Eckert. Together with the chairmen, eleven of 13 committee members were removed.
The need for a single body to oversee association football became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. The Fdration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union des Socits Franaises de Sports Athltiques at the Rue Saint Honor 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904. The French name and acronym are used even outside French-speaking countries. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by Madrid Football Club; the Spanish Federation was not created until 1913), Sweden and Switzerland. Also, that same day, the German Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram.
The first president of FIFA was Robert Gurin. Gurin was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by then a member of the association. The first tournament FIFA staged, the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful than its Olympic predecessors, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.
Membership of FIFA expanded beyond Europe with the application of South Africa in 1909, Argentina in 1912, Canada and Chile in 1913, and the United States in 1914.
During World War I, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures severely limited, the organization's survival was in doubt. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann. It was saved from extinction but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations (of the United Kingdom), who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations later resumed their membership.
The FIFA collection is held by the National Football Museum at Urbis in Manchester, England. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay.