Your Guide to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (14 June-15 July) Results of two previous World Cups:  2014 in Brazil  |  2010 in South Africa

FIFA World Cup in Russia (14 June-15 July 2018)

  (1 December 2017) The final draw in Moscow on 1 December 2017 resulted in the following eight groups.
  You can find the full match schedule here.

(16 November 2017) The 32 countries that have qualified for the final phase of the Fifa World Cup in Russia are as in the table below. They have been split into 4 pots for the draw which will be held on 1 December 2017 in Moscow. The composition of these 4 pots are based on Fifa's World Ranking for October 2017 in descending order (with the exception of Russia, the host country, which takes the top seeding spot thus pushing 8th-placed Spain into Pot 2).

NOT GOING: Among the countries that failed to qualify for the final rounds in Russia are: the Netherlands (2014 semi-finalist and 2010 runner-up), Italy, Greece, Chile, USA, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Algeria.

8 GROUPS: There will be 8 groups containing 4 countries from each of the 4 pots. The draw on 1 December 2017 will decide which country in each of the 4 pots will go into a particular group. The first two teams of each group (making 16 teams in all) will advance to the knockout stage where each game must have a winner, even if it has to be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

SQUAD MEMBERS: Each country will have to submit a list of 30 players to Fifa in mid-May. By the first week of June this list will have to be trimmed to 23 players, of whom 3 must be goalkeepers.

MAIN STADIUM: The opening match (on 14 June), the second semi-final and the final (on 15 July) will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which is capable of accommodating 81,000 spectators while the first semi-final and third-place match will be played in Saint Petersburg. All the other matches will be played in 9 other cities in Russia.
The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where the final will be played on 15 July 2018. (Getty)


The official mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is a wolf called Zabivaka.

USEFUL LINKS

Fifa
BBC World Cup coverage
Wikipedia on 2018 World Cup
The Guardian's World Cup coverage
The Telegraph's World Cup coverage
The Independent's World Cup coverage
Russia tourist portal
World Soccer magazine


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