The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, an once in four years global football tournament competed by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is confirmed to occur in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018, after the country was given the hosting rights on 2 December 2010.
This will be the very first FIFA World Cup ever took place in Eastern Europe, and the first hosted in Europe since 2006; all but one of the stadium venues are in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains to manage the travel time easier.
The final tournament will include 32 national teams, which involves 31 teams determined through qualifying matches and the automatically qualified host team. Exact 64 matches will take place in 12 venues situated in 11 cities. The final will happen on 15 July in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium.
The winners will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The bidding process to hold the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups dated back in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register. Initially, nine countries bided for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico withdrew afterwards, and Indonesia’s bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to enclose a letter to support their bid. During the bidding procedure, the three remaining non-UEFA countries (Australia, Japan, and the United States) eventually withdrew from the 2018 bids, and the UEFA nations were therefore ruled out of the 2022 bid. There were ultimately four bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup: England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium, and Portugal/Spain.
The twenty-two-member FIFA Executive Committee assembled in Zürich on 2 December 2010 to decide the hosts of both tournaments through voting. Russia received the right to be the 2018 host in the second round. The Portugal/Spain bid came second, and Belgium/Netherlands bid finished third. England’s bid to host its second tournament fell at the first voting.
The full schedule was notified by FIFA on 24 July 2015 (without kick-off times, which were confirmed later). Russia will be positioned A1 in the group stage and appear in the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 14 June, which will also place the second semi-final on 11 July and the final on 15 July. The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg will host the first semi-final on 10 July and the third place contest on 14 July.
The draw will take place on 1 December 2017 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
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