Now the disgraced Sepp Blatter has finally been given the boot, Fifa will elect its first new president since 1998 next week with five candidates in the running for football's top job.
The diverse ballot list features a former anti-apartheid campaigner, two members of gulf state royal families, a former French diplomat and a bilingual lawyer.
Yet one thing that unites all five is prior experience in the often murky world of football governance and close ties to former members of the under-fire Fifa. Here's what you need to know:
- Current Asian Football Confederation president and Fifa vice-president.
- Believed to have backing of majority of Asian and African federations.
- Has backed 2018 and 2022 World Cups going ahead in Qatar and Russia.
- Has been accused of complicity in the torture of footballers involved in 2011 democracy protests. He has said the allegations are "nasty lies".
- Swiss lawyer and current Uefa general secretary with 15 years experience in football administration.
- Backed by the FA and a number of other Uefa federations including the FA.
- Former close ally of now-banned Michel Platini.
- Wants to expand World Cup to 40 teams and host it across regions.
- South African anti-apartheid campaigner who was jailed for 13 years alongside Nelson Mandela on Robben Island.
- Member of Fifa anti-discrimination task force.
- Served on the organising committee for 2010 World Cup but may have to combat allegations that the South African FA paid $10m bribe to Fifa officials - something it denies. Sexwale has described the allegations as "worrisome".
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
- Lost to Sepp Blatter in May presidential election.
- Member of the Jordanian royal family.
- Current president of the Jordan Football Association and former president of the Asian Football Confederation.
- Only candidate to call for independent oversight of Fifa reform process.
- Former Fifa general secretary and spent 11 years working for the organisation.
- Has pledged to develop game in poorer nations and cut the number of European teams at the World Cup.