Europe

Seven days that brought down Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter (with hands clasped together, giving appearance of praying) attends a news conference following the FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Image copyright AP

When Sepp Blatter woke in a Swiss hotel room last Wednesday morning, he was the overwhelming favourite to be named Fifa president two days later.

In only seven days, he has seen corruption charges plague his organisation, has won an election and has stepped down from his role.

It is a scenario that few would have predicted a week ago. So how did events unfold over the last seven days?

Wednesday, 27 May

Early hours of morning, US time

A 47-count indictment against nine Fifa officials and five corporate executives is unsealed before a court in Brooklyn.

The US justice department says the men were under investigation worldwide for allegedly accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.

Image copyright AP

06:00 Swiss time, 04:00 GMT

A series of arrests are carried out at the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, where Fifa officials are staying. Mr Blatter is not one of those detained. More arrests are expected, the journalist who broke the story tells the BBC.

10:30 Swiss time, 08:30 GMT

The office of Switzerland's Attorney General confirms it has opened an investigation into suspected "criminal mismanagement and of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups" in Russia and Qatar.

It says documents and electronic data have been seized from Fifa's headquarters in Zurich.

11:30 Swiss time, 09:30 GMT

Fifa spokesman Walter De Gregorio says the election of Fifa's president will still take place two days later. "The stress factor is a bit higher today," he adds.

10:49 New York time, 14:49 GMT

Image copyright AP
Image caption US Attorney General Loretta Lynch vowed to "root out misconduct" in world football

At a press conference, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch details the extent of alleged corruption by Fifa officials. She says: "They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament."

When asked whether Mr Blatter was to be questioned, she says only that the investigation is ongoing. Mr Blatter faces growing calls to resign from leading sporting figures.

The Fifa president releases a statement saying he welcomes the investigations, that would "help to reinforce measures that Fifa has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football".

Thursday, 28 May

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Michel Platini, the head of the European football body Uefa, calls on Mr Blatter to resign - but he refuses.

Ignoring calls by the British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande to delay the next day's election, Mr Blatter says: "It must fall to me to uphold responsibility for the wellbeing of the organisation."

He condemns the "action of individuals" for bringing "shame and humiliation" on football. But, he says, he is not able to "monitor everyone all of the time".

Football sponsors start to express their concerns about the scandals surrounding Fifa.

Friday, 29 May

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Despite mounting pressure, Fifa's presidential election goes ahead.

Mr Blatter's only rival, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, withdraws from the race after winning 73 votes to Mr Blatter's 133 in the election's first round. The 79-year-old is re-elected.

Mr Blatter - who has vowed to make this the last of his five terms - says: "I am the president now, the president of everybody."

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke again demands Mr Blatter stand down, and warns that the events of the last week "are not all over".

Football sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald's, all call for reform within Fifa.

Mr Blatter tells Swiss television: "Why would I step down? That would mean I recognise that I did wrong."

Saturday, 30 May

A day after his re-election, Mr Blatter downplays the US indictments, saying in an interview with the Swiss public broadcaster that there was a "hate campaign" against Fifa by European football nations.

Mr Blatter is also asked about another allegation made in the indictment. It states that a senior Fifa official authorised an alleged $10m (£6.5m) payment in exchange for votes in favour of South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup.

"Definitely, that's not me," he says.

Sunday, 31 May

South Africa denies the payment it made was a bribe, insisting it went to pay for football development for the African diaspora in the Caribbean.

In a BBC interview, Mr Blatter's daughter says her father is the victim of a conspiracy "behind the scenes" of world football.

Monday, 1 June

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The New York Times alleges that Mr Blatter's most senior aide at Fifa, Jerome Valcke, was the man who authorised the $10m payment. Fifa and Mr Valcke deny it was a bribe.

Tuesday, 2 June

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Fifa again insists the $10m payment was legitimate.

By mid-afternoon, news emerges of a previously unscheduled Fifa press conference in Zurich.

Shortly before 19:00 Swiss time (17:00 GMT), Mr Blatter announces he is to stand down.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSepp Blatter resigns as Fifa president saying new elections will be held soon

He does not address the corruption allegations directly, but calls for "deep-rooted structural change" within Fifa and admits: "I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football."

Sponsors, including Visa, Budweiser and Coca-Cola, welcome the news and call for swift reform and greater transparency from Fifa.

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