2018 FIFA World Cup to kick off in Moscow to­day

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Luzh­niki Sta­dium in the Rus­sian cap­i­tal Moscow to­day and will end at the same venue on July 15. In keep­ing with tra­di­tion, the open­ing cer­e­mony takes place be­fore the first match be­tween Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia.

The ac­tion is ex­pected to start at 1300 GMT, two hours be­fore the cur­tain-raiser match.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st edi­tion of the qua­dren­nial in­ter­na­tional foot­ball tour­na­ment, con­tested by the men’s na­tional teams of the mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions of FIFA.

This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since the 2006 tour­na­ment in Ger­many, the first ever to be held in East­ern Europe and the 11th time that it has been held in Europe. All of the sta­dium venues are in Euro­pean Rus­sia to keep travel time manageable.

It is ex­pected to be the most ex­pen­sive foot­ball cham­pi­onship in his­tory, bud­geted at 11.8-14 bil­lion dol­lars, sur­pass­ing the cost of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The fi­nal tour­na­ment will in­volve 32 na­tional teams, in­clud­ing 31 teams de­ter­mined through qual­i­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tions and the au­to­mat­i­cally qual­i­fied host team. Of the 32 teams, 20 will be mak­ing back-to-back ap­pear­ances fol­low­ing the last tour­na­ment in 2014, in­clud­ing de­fend­ing cham­pion Ger­many, while Ice­land and Panama will both be mak­ing their first ap­pear­ances at a FIFA World Cup.

A to­tal of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.

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