Russia World Cup 2018: What you need to know

The 21st edition of the football World Cup starts in Russia on June 14. Here is what you need to know about the event.

    Russia World Cup 2018: What you need to know
    FIFA awarded Russia the 2018 World Cup after a voting process in 2010 [Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]

    The 21st edition of the football World Cup kicks off in Russia from June 14.

    Russia was awarded the 2018 event by FIFA in 2010.

    The qualification campaign for the tournament started with 210 countries that involved 872 matches.

    Over the next month, 32 teams from across the world will be taking part in the tournament with the final to be played in Moscow on July 15.

    There will be 64 games spread over 25 match days.

    When

    The tournament kicks off on Thursday, June 14 when hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener (kick-off 15:00 GMT).

    Where

    Russia is hosting the football World Cup for the first time.

    The 64 matches will be played across 12 stadiums in 11 cities. The opening match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The same venue will also host the final that takes place on July 15.

    Ekaterinburg (Ekaterinburg Arena) - Capacity: 35,696

    Kaliningrad (Kaliningrad Stadium) - Capacity: 35,212

    Kazan (Kazan Arena) - Capacity: 44,779

    Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium) - Capacity: 81,006

    Moscow (Spartak Stadium) - Capacity: 43,298

    Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod Stadium) - Capacity: 45,331 

    Rostov-on-Don (Rostov Arena) - Capacity: 45,145 

    St Petersburg (St Petersburg Stadium) - Capacity: 68,134 

    Samara (Samara Arena) - Capacity: 44,807

    Saransk (Mordovia Arena) - Capacity: 44,442 

    Sochi (Fisht Stadium) - Capacity: 47,700 

    Volgograd (Volgograd Arena) - Capacity: 45,568

    Who is taking part?

    Out of 210 countries that started the qualification round, only 32 have made it to Russia:

    Group A

    Russia

    Saudi Arabia

    Egypt

    Uruguay

    Group B

    Portugal

    Spain

    Morocco

    Iran

    Group C

    France

    Australia

    Peru

    Denmark

    Group D

    Argentina

    Iceland

    Croatia

    Nigeria

    Group E

    Brazil

    Switzerland

    Costa Rica

    China

    Group F

    Germany

    Mexico

    Sweden

    South Korea

    Group G

    Belgium

    Panama

    Tunisia

    England

    Group H

    Poland

    Senegal

    Colombia

    Japan

    Find all Russia 2018 fixtures here.

    Who missed out?

    Four-time World Cup winners Italy and the Netherlands are two of the biggest names to have missed out on qualifying for World Cup 2018.

    Italy lost out to Sweden in the playoffs after finishing second in their group while the Netherlands, semi-finalists at Brazil 2014, finished third in their group.

    Chile, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and potential 2026 hosts USA will also be spectators at this year's tournament.

    History

    Uruguay hosted the first edition of the World Cup in 1930. The hosts also went on to win the tournament but have only managed to win it one more time since then.

    Brazil has been the most successful team in the history of the World Cup, having won the tournament five times.

    Germany are the defending champions, having beaten Argentina in Brazil four years ago to lift the trophy.

    This is the penultimate time that the World Cup will comprise 32 teams. FIFA announced that World Cup 2026 (that follows Qatar 2022) will have 48 teams taking part.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.