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2018 FIFA World Cup

"2018 World Cup" redirects here. For other competitions of that name, see 2018 World Cup (disambiguation).

2018 FIFA World Cup
Чемпионат мира по футболу 2018 (Chempionat mira po futbolu 2018)[1]
Russia 2018 official logo
Tournament details
Host country 23x15px Russia
Dates 14 June – 15 July 2018 (32 days)
Teams 32 (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 currently scheduled to take place between 14 June and 15 July 2018 in Russia.[2] 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.[3][4][5]

Host selection

File:Russia 2018 World Cup.jpeg
Russian bid personnel celebrate the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia.

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.[6] Initially, nine countries placed bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico later withdrew from proceedings,[7] and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

The voting patterns were as follows:[11]

2018 FIFA bidding (majority 12 votes)
Bidders Votes
Round 1 Round 2
Russia 9 13
Portugal / Spain 7 7
Belgium / Netherlands 4 2
England 2 Eliminated


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.[12]


File:Constantine Palace in Strelna.jpg
The qualifying draw will be held at the Konstantinovsky Palace

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.[13] On 12 March 2015, prior to the start of qualification, Zimbabwe were expelled from the tournament for failing to pay former coach José Claudinei.[14] 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.[15][16] Qualifying matches for AFC and CONCACAF started in March 2015, prior to the qualifying draw.[2]

The allocation of slots for each confederation was decided to be unchanged by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA Congress.[17][18]

Qualified teams

Team Order of
Method of
Date of
Previous best
FIFA Ranking
at start of event
23x15px Russia 1st Host 2 December 2010 11th 2014 Fourth place (1966)[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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."[22][23]


Russia proposed the following host cities: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg.[24] 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."[25]

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 also in the capital, Spartak Stadium was competing with Dynamo Stadium over which would be constructed first.[26]

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.[27]

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".[28]

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.[29]

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.[30]

Moscow Moscow Saint Petersburg Kaliningrad
Luzhniki Stadium Otkrytie Arena Zenit Arena Kaliningrad Stadium
Capacity: 81,000
Capacity: 44,929
(new stadium)
Capacity: 66,881
(new stadium)
Capacity: 35,000[31]
(new stadium)
200px 200px 200px 200px
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Nizhny Novgorod
Kazan Arena Strelka Stadium
Capacity: 45,105[32]
(new stadium)
Capacity: 44,899
(new stadium)
200px 200px
Samara Volgograd
Cosmos Arena
(new stadium)
Central Stadium
(rebuilt or replaced)
Capacity: 44,918 Capacity: 45,015
Saransk Rostov-on-Don Sochi Yekaterinburg
Yubileyniy Stadium
(new stadium)
Levberdon Arena
(new stadium)
Fisht Olympic Stadium
(new stadium)
Central Stadium
Capacity: 45,015 Capacity: 43,702 Capacity: 47,659 Capacity: 35,000[31]
200px 200px

16x16px 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:[17]

  • 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,[33][34] and discrimination against LGBT people in wider Russian society.[35][36][37] 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[38][39] and Russia's alleged role in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.[40] FIFA President Sepp Blatter said: "The World Cup has been given and voted to Russia and we are going forward with our work".[41]

Allegations of corruption in the bid processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups caused threats from England's FA to boycott the tournament.[42] A 42-page FIFA report released in November 2014 (the summary findings from the Garcia Report as determined by Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert) cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing, but was denounced by many as a whitewash.[43] Additionally, Michael J. Garcia, the US attorney commissioned by FIFA to lead the report, criticised FIFA's summary for being "materially incomplete" with "erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions", and declared his intention to appeal to FIFA's Appeal Committee. [44][45]

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.[46]

Broadcasting rights

Country Broadcaster Ref.
Algeria ENTV [47]
Argentina TV Pública, TyC Sports [citation needed]
Australia SBS [48][49]
Brazil Rede Globo [50]
Canada CTV, RDS, TSN [49][51]
Chile Canal 13, TVN [citation needed]
Germany ARD, ZDF [52][53][54]
Kosovo RTK [55][56][57]
Indonesia RCTI [citation needed]
Iran IRIB [47]
Malaysia Astro, RTM [citation needed]
Mexico Televisa, TV Azteca [citation needed]
Nepal NTV [citation needed]
Portugal RTP [58]
Sweden SVT, TV4 [52][54]
Switzerland SRG SSR [59]
United Kingdom BBC, ITV [53]
United States Fox Sports, Telemundo [60][61]
Region Broadcaster Ref.
Caribbean[n 1] DirecTV [62]
Europe[n 2] EBU [52][63]
Middle East and North Africa[n 3] beIN Sports Arabia [47][64][65]
Oceania[n 4] SBS [citation needed]
  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ The FIFA/SBS deal covers the rights for all countries in Oceania except New Zealand

See also

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  1. ^ Standard Russian pronunciation is [tɕɪmʲpʲɪɐˈnat ˈmʲirə pə fʊdˈbolʊ dʲvʲɪ ˈtɨsʲɪtɕɪ vəsʲɪmˈnatsətʲ]
  2. ^ a b "Ethics: Executive Committee unanimously supports recommendation to publish report on 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process" (Press release). 19 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Russia united for 2018 FIFA World Cup Host Cities announcement". Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "FIFA Picks Cities for World Cup 2018". 29 September 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Russia budget for 2018 Fifa World Cup nearly doubles". BBC News. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Goff, Steve (16 January 2009). "Future World Cups". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Mexico withdraws FIFA World Cup bid". FIFA. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Indonesia's bid to host the 2022 World Cup bid ends". BBC Sport. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 20 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Combined bidding confirmed". FIFA. 20 December 2008. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "England miss out to Russia in 2018 World Cup Vote". BBC News. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  11. ^ Doyle, Paul; Busfield, Steve (2 December 2010). "World Cup 2018 and 2022 decision day – live!". The Guardian (London). 
  12. ^ "'Russia’s heart & soul': World Cup 2018 logo unveiled in Moscow (PHOTOS, VIDEO)". RT. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Myanmar appeal partially upheld". FIFA. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Zimbabwe expelled from 2018 World Cup". BBC Sport. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup extends its responsibilities to cover 2018 and 2022". 19 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Konstantinovsky Palace to stage Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup". 10 October 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "2022 FIFA World Cup to be played in November/December". 20 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". 30 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Russia's best result under its current name is the group stage in 1994, 2002 and 2014. However, FIFA considers Russia as the successor team of the Soviet Union.
  20. ^ "UEFA chief Platini calls for 40 team World Cup". Reuters. 28 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Blatter wants more Africa slots for World Cup". Confederation of African Football. 26 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Michel Platini's World Cup expansion plan unlikely – Fifa". BBC Sport. 29 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "2018 World Cup expansion 'unlikely', says Valcke". Soccerway. 29 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup Bid Evaluation Report: Russia" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 10 December 2002. 
  25. ^ Marikar, Hafiz. "Russia to host next FIFA World Cup". The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Почему у России осталось только 14 стадионов к ЧМ-2018 – Известия (Why are there only 14 stadiums for the Russia 2018 World Cup)" (in Russian). 7 October 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  27. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup™ to be played in 11 Host Cities". 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  28. ^ Saakov, Rafael (22 July 2014). "Russia 2018: Major challenges for next World Cup hosts". BBC News. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  29. ^ Rogovitskiy, Dmitriy (21 October 2014). "Russia on track for World Cup 2018, say FIFA inspectors". Reuters. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  30. ^ "Vladimir Putin, amidst economic problems, tells Blatter that Russia can host 2018 World Cup". NBC Sports. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  31. ^ a b "Capacity at 2 of Russia's stadiums to be reduced". The Oklahoman (via Associated Press). 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  32. ^ Вместимость футбольного стадиона Казани к ЧМ могут увеличить до 60 тыс. мест (in Russian). 27 December 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  33. ^ Syal, Rajeev (3 December 2010). "World Cup 2018 win raises Russian racism fears". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Yaya Toure: Black players may boycott 2018 Russia World Cup". BBC Sport. 25 October 2013. 
  35. ^ "Dismiss Russia As Host Of The 2018 World Cup". Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  36. ^ J.P. McCormick (25 March 2014). "Campaigns demand FIFA bans Russia from hosting 2018 World Cup due to anti-gay law". Pink News. 
  37. ^ J. Lavin (28 February 2014). "Why FIFA Needs to Move the World Cup". 
  38. ^ "Fifa urged to rethink staging 2018 World Cup in Russia"., 2014-03-21. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  39. ^ Winter, Stuart (2014-03-23): "US calls for Fifa to drop Russia from hosting World Cup in 2018". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  40. ^ "German politicians question Russia’s suitability to host 2018 World Cup". The Guardian. Reuters. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "Sepp Blatter: Russia will host 2018 World Cup despite Crimea". BBC Sport, 21 March 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  42. ^ Ornstein, David (17 November 2014). "World Cup: Former FA chief David Bernstein calls for boycott". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  43. ^ Dunbar, Graham. "FIFA under fire after report on Qatar, Russia". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  44. ^ Roan, Dan (17 November 2014). "Greg Dyke: FA demands full report findings into World Cup corruption". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  45. ^ Conway, Richard. "FIFA corruption report: Who is to blame and what happens now?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  46. ^ Russia to ease visa regime for World Cup fans in 2018, Voice of Russia (11 July 2014)
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  50. ^ "Globo buys broadcast rights to 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™". FIFA. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  51. ^ "Bell Media lands deal for FIFA soccer from 2015 through 2022". The Sports Network. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  52. ^ a b c "FIFA Executive Committee agrees major governance reforms & Ethics structure". FIFA. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  53. ^ a b Cushnan, David (8 June 2014). "BBC, ITV, ARD and ZDF sign World Cup TV deals". SportsPro. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  54. ^ a b Connoly, Eoin (2 April 2012). "ARD and ZDF get rights to 2018 World Cup". SportsPro. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  55. ^ "Sony Six scores World Cup rights deal". 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  56. ^ Shah, Gouri (15 January 2014). "Sony SIX wins broadcast rights for FIFA World Cup 2014 and 2018". Mint. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  57. ^ "Sony Six bags exclusive rights for FIFA till 2018". 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  58. ^ "RTP e Seleção Nacional até 2018". Rádio e Televisão de Portugal. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  59. ^ Connoly, Eoin (24 April 2012). "SRG secures Swiss World Cup rights until 2022". SportsPro. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  60. ^ Longman, Jeré (21 October 2011). "Fox Sports and Telemundo Win U.S. Rights to World Cups". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  61. ^ "FIFA awards US TV Rights for 2015–2022". FIFA. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  62. ^ Cushnan, David (18 December 2014). "DirecTV picks up Fifa rights package in Caribbean". SportsPro. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  63. ^ "EBU in European media rights deal with FIFA for 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™". European Broadcasting Union. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  64. ^ Connolly, Eoin (26 January 2011). "Al Jazeera secures first 2018/2022 rights package". SportsPro. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  65. ^ "Al Jazeera Sport rebranded beIN SPORTS". Al Arabiya. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 

External links