2018 FIFA World Cup
|Чемпионат мира по футболу 2018 (Chempionat mira po futbolu 2018)|
Russia 2018 official logo
|Dates||14 June – 15 July 2018 (32 days)|
|Teams||32 (expected) (from 5 or 6 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||12 (in 11 host cities)|
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international men's football tournament, that is scheduled to take place between 14 June and 15 July 2018 in Russia. This will be the first World Cup held in the area of the former Soviet Union and the first since 2006 to be held in Europe.
The finals tournament will involve 32 national teams, including that of the host nation, assuming the current format of the finals is maintained. The final is expected to take place in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium.
The bidding procedure to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest. Initially, nine countries placed bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico later withdrew from proceedings, and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid. During the bidding process, the three remaining non-UEFA nations (Australia, Japan, and the United States) gradually withdrew from the 2018 bids, and the UEFA nations were thus ruled out of the 2022 bid. As such, there were eventually four bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup: England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium, and Spain/Portugal.
The twenty-two-member FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zürich on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments. Russia won the right to be the 2018 host in the second round of voting. The Spain/Portugal bid came second, and that from Belgium/Netherlands third. England's bid to host its second tournament fell at the first hurdle.
The voting patterns were as follows:
|Round 1||Round 2|
|Portugal / Spain||7||7|
|Belgium / Netherlands||4||2|
The tournament logo was unveiled on 28 October 2014 by cosmonauts at the International Space Station and then projected onto Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre during an evening television programme. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the logo was inspired by "Russia's rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation", and FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated that it reflected the "heart and soul" of the country.
The qualification process for the 2018 World Cup has not yet been announced. All FIFA member associations, of which there are 209 as of March 2013, are eligible to enter qualification. Myanmar, having successfully appealed against a ban from the competition for crowd trouble during a 2014 World Cup qualifying tie against Oman, will be obliged to play all their 'home' matches outside the country. On 12 March 2015, prior to the start of qualification, Zimbabwe were expelled from the tournament for failing to pay former coach José Claudinei. Russia, as hosts, qualify for the tournament automatically.
The qualifying draw will take place at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg on 25 July 2015. Qualifying matches for AFC and CONCACAF will start in March 2015, prior to the qualifying draw.
at start of event
|Russia||1st||Host||2 December 2010||11th||2014||Fourth place (1966)|
Proposal for expansion
In October 2013, UEFA President Michel Platini proposed that the World Cup finals should be expanded from 32 to 40 teams starting from 2018. The format would be the same as now, being groups of five instead of four. This was in response to FIFA President Sepp Blatter's comments that Africa and Asia deserve more spots in the World Cup finals at the expense of European and South American teams. However, FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke said that expansion in 2018 is "unlikely", while Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said that the country is "preparing on the basis that 32 teams will be taking part."
Russia proposed the following host cities: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg. All the cities are in or just outside European Russia to reduce travel time for the teams in the huge country. The bid evaluation report stated: "The Russian bid proposes 13 host cities and 16 stadiums, thus exceeding FIFA's minimum requirement. Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed."
In October 2011 Russia decreased the number of stadiums from 16 to 14. Construction of the proposed Podolsk stadium in the Moscow region was cancelled by the regional government, and Spartak Stadium is competing with Dynamo Stadium which will have been constructed first.
The final choice of host cities was announced on 29 September 2012. The number of cities was further reduced to 11 and number of stadiums to 12 as Krasnodar and Yaroslavl were dropped from the final list.
Sepp Blatter stated in July 2014 that due to concerns over the completion of venues in Russia, the number of venues for the tournament may be reduced from 12 to 10. He also said, "We are not going to be in a situation, as is the case of one, two or even three stadiums in South Africa, where it is a problem of what you do with these stadiums".
In October 2014, on their first official visit to Russia, FIFA's inspection committee and its head Chris Unger visited St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and both Moscow venues. They were satisfied with the progress.
Russian president Vladimir Putin told FIFA president Sepp Blatter in January 2015 that the country’s economic troubles would have no effect on the organisation of the 2018 World Cup. Such difficulties had delayed millions of dollars in wages promised to Russia national team coach Fabio Capello, whom the Russian Football Union could not afford to pay.
|Luzhniki Stadium||Otkrytie Arena||Zenit Arena||Kaliningrad Stadium|
|Kazan Arena||Strelka Stadium|
(rebuilt or replaced)
|Capacity: 44,918||Capacity: 45,015|
|Fisht Olympic Stadium
|Capacity: 45,015||Capacity: 43,702||Capacity: 47,659||Capacity: 35,000|
Media related to Stadiums of FIFA World Cup 2018 at Wikimedia Commons
While the full schedule has not been released yet, the dates and venues of the following matches have been confirmed:
- The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will host the opening match on 14 June, the second semi-final on 11 July, and the final on 15 July.
- The Zenit Arena in Saint Petersburg will host the first semi-final on 10 July, and the third place match on 14 July.
As with the 2014 Winter Olympics, the choice of Russia as host has been challenged. Controversial issues have included the level of racism in Russian football, and discrimination against LGBT people in wider Russian society. Russia's alleged involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has also caused calls for the tournament to be moved, particularly following the annexation of Crimea and Russia's alleged role in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. FIFA President Sepp Blatter said: "The World Cup has been given and voted to Russia and we are going forward with our work".
Allegations of corruption in the bid processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, although cleared by a 42-page report in November 2014, caused threats from England's FA to boycott the tournament.
Russian visa policy
The general visa policy of Russia will not apply to the World Cup participants and fans, who will be able to visit Russia without a visa right before and during the competition regardless of their citizenship.
|Argentina||TV Pública, TyC Sports|||
|Canada||CTV, RDS, TSN|||
|Chile||Canal 13, TVN|||
|Malaysia||Astro, RTM|||
|United Kingdom||BBC, ITV|||
|United States||Fox Sports, Telemundo|||
- The FIFA/DirecTV deal covers the rights for 22 countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos.
- The FIFA/EBU deal covers the rights for 37 countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine
- The FIFA/beIN Sports Arabia deal covers the rights for 21 countries: Algeria (ENTV), Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran (IRIB), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia
- The FIFA/SBS deal covers the rights for all countries in Oceania except New Zealand
- Standard Russian pronunciation is [tɕɪmʲpʲɪɐˈnat ˈmʲirə pə fʊdˈbolʊ dʲvʲɪ ˈtɨsʲɪtɕɪ vəsʲɪmˈnatsətʲ]
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- "UEFA chief Platini calls for 40 team World Cup". Reuters. 28 October 2013.
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