The FIFA World Cup 2018 is the 21st edition of its kind. It is to take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15 this year. It is the first football world cup will be played in any European country since 2006. Germany was the last host for FIFA world cup in the continent of Europe in 2006. Russia was awarded this football event by FIFA in 2010 bidding. Germany is participating as defending champion of FIFA World Cup 2014 which was played in Brazil.
First time in the history, FIFA declared all nations associated with it eligible to play qualifying round for the FIFA World Cup 2018. Only hosting nation is eligible to take part in the tournament without playing qualifying round. First match of FIFA qualifying round was played in March 12, 2015. 31 member nations of FIFA association qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018 after playing qualifying round. Only Russia being a hosing nation qualified automatically as per FIFA rules.
20 nations were part of FIFA World Cup 2014 played in Brazil will play their back to back tournament this year in Russia. Panama and Iceland are the teams playing first time in the FIFA World Cup this year after determining through qualification round. Kosovo and Gibraltar are also associated members of FIFA but their joining in FIFA was made in 2016 which mean they were not eligible to play qualifying round.
Groups in FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA has divided 32 teams qualified for FIFA World Cup 2018 into 8 groups. 4 teams are included in each group. These groups are separated by alphabetically starting from Group A to Group H. Details about groups and their respective teams are as under:
Group A contains Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay
In Group B Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Iran are included.
Group C has France, Australia, Peru and Denmark in it.
Group comprises of teams including Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.
In Group E Brazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia are included
Group F contains Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea
Four teams are included in Group G are Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England.
Group H is comprises Poland, Senegal, Columbia and Japan
FIFA World Cup 2018 will be played in 11 different cities of Russia. Opening match between hosting country Russia and Saudi Arabia will be played in Moscow on June 14 this year. All the venues cities are as under:
- Saint Petersburg
- Nizhny Novgorod
Opening Match of FIFA World Cup 2018
Opening match of FIFA World Cup will be played on June 14 between host Russia and Saudi Arabia in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow at 16:00GMT. Russia being a hosting nation automatically qualified for this biggest event whereas Saudi Arabia reached there after playing qualifying round.
Total Rounds of FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA has divided World Cup 2018 into 5 stages including round of league matches, pre-quarter final stage, quarter final stage, semifinals and lastly grand finale. There details are as under
Round of League Matches of FIFA World Cup 2018
In first round of FIFA World Cup 2018 all teams divided into 8 groups will play 48 league matches? In every group, each team will play 3 league matches with other teams of that group. Every top two teams of all groups will qualify for the pre-quarter final stage of FIFA World Cup 2018. Last two teams of every group will be eliminated after completion of league matches round. League matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be played between June 14, 2018 to June 28, 2018.
Round of 16 or Pre-Quarter final Stage of FIFA World Cup 2018
In Round of 16 or pre-quarter final stage of FIFA World Cup 2018 each team will play an eliminator to qualify for next stage. Loser in this group will no more be a part of FIFA World Cup 2018. Total 8 matches will be played in Round of 16 from June 30, 2018 to July 3rd, 2018.
Stage of Quarter Finals
In stage of quarter finals of FIFA World Cup 2018 eight winning teams of round of 16 will play eliminator to qualify for the semis of FIFA World Cup 2018. Four matches will be played in this stage of quarter finals on July 06 to July 07, 2018. Two matches will be played on each date
Semi Finals of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be played on July 10 and July 11, 2018. One match will be played on each date.
On July 14, match will be played between two losing teams of semi finals for the place of 3rd position in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Grand final between two winners of semi final matches will be played on July 15th at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. This match will be telecast on 16:00GMT.
After 2018 Football World Cup in Russia, Qatar to host 2022 FIFA World Cup as per schedule after winning bid in 2010 draw made by FIFA. 89 worldwide countries got direct broadcasting rights of FIFA World Cup 2018 whereas. Apart for that five regions including Caribbean, Indian Subcontinent, Middle East & North Africa, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan Africa got broadcasting rights from FIFA.