The upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup matches are going to be the 21st of its kind since its inaugural match in 1930. The football tournament which holds every four years is going to be contested by 32 national teams of the member associations of FIFA. Based on the method of selection embarked on by the Six FIFA confederations, the qualified national teams are Australia, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, all from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC); Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia from the Confederation of African Football (CAF); and Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
Unfortunately, Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) could not produce any qualified national team for the World Cup, ConfederaciónSudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) got 5 teams which are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay; while the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) produced 14 teams which are Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia (the host), Spain, Sweden and Serbia based on the slots given to each confederation.
According to the FIFA schedule, the World Cup tournament is expected to take place in Russia as a result of the hosting rights the nation got on 2 December 2010 and also, run from 14 June to 15 July 2018. Except for the stadium that is at the west of the Ural Mountains, all the stadium venues are located in European Russia with the venues in 11 cities.
Upcoming FIFA Wolrd Cup Matches 2018
There are eight groups in the 2018 FIFA World Cup where these qualified teams have been placed which are: Group A consisting of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay; Group B having Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Iran; Group C also have France, Australia, Peru, and Denmark while Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria fall under Group D. Group E has Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Serbia; Group F contains Germany, Mexico, Sweden, and Korea Republic; Group G consists of Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, and England; and finally, Poland, Senegal, Colombia, and Japan fall under Group H.
Considering the 32 teams and their previous appearances at the World Cup tournament, 20 of the teams made back-to-back appearances based on the tournament that took place in 2014 while Iceland and Panama are making their appearances for the first time. According to the schedule, Russia will be playing in the opening match on 14 June against Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow which is the largest stadium with 81,000 seats. This is the same stadium that is expected to host both the semi-final and the final on 11 July and 15 July respectively.
Other stadiums where the football tournament will hold are Saint Petersburg Stadium with 67,000 seat capacity, Fisht Stadium in Sochi with 48,000 seat capacity, Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg capable of seating 45,000 people, Kazan Arena in Kazan with 45,000 seat capacity and Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod able to seat 45,000 people. Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don also has the capacity to accommodate 45,000 people, Samara Arena in Samara has 45,000 seat capacity, Mordovia Arena has 45,000 seat capacity in Saransk, Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad has 35,212 seat capacity, Spartak Stadium also situated in Moscow has the capacity 42,000 seats while Volgograd Stadium in Volgograd will contain 45,000 seat capacity.
A total number of 64 matches will be played in these 12 venues.
More so, according to the schedule of playing in each of these stadiums, while seven matches each will be played in Luzhnikiand Saint Petersburg Stadiums; six matches each will hold at Fisht Stadium, Nizhny Samara Arena, Novgorod Stadium, and Kazan Arena; and five matches each at Rostov Arena and Spartak Stadium. Also, four matches each will hold at Mordovia Arena, Kaliningrad Stadium, Ekaterinburg Arena and Volgograd Stadium.
While 36 referees and 63 assistant referees have been selected cross the six confederations of FIFA to oversee the matches, for the first time in the history of FIFA World Cup tournament, the use of video assistant referees (VAR) has been approved by the FIFA Council. From Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Confederation of African Football (CAF), Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and ConfederaciónSudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), six referees each have been chosen with 10, 10, 8, and 12 assistant referees respectively while two referees and three assistant referees were chosen from Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), and 10 referees with 20 assistant referees from Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The base camps for all the 32 national teams of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to stay and train before and during the World Cup tournament are Bronnitsy, and Moscow Oblast for Argentina; Kazan and Republic of Tatarstan for Australia; Krasnogorsky, and Moscow Oblast for Belgium; Sochi and Krasnodar Krai for Brazil; Verkhneuslonsky and Republic of Tatarstan for Colombia; Saint Petersburg for Costa Rica; Vyborgsky and Leningrad Oblast for Croatia; and Anapa and Krasnodar Krai for Denmark. Egypt is expected to camp at Grozny and the Chechen Republic; England at Saint Petersburg; France at Istra and Moscow Oblast while Germany would camp at Moscow.
More so, Iceland would camp at Gelendzhik and Krasnodar Krai; Iran at Bakovka and Moscow Oblast; Japan at Kazan and Republic of Tatarstan; Mexico at Khimki at Moscow Oblast; Morocco at Voronezh, and Voronezh Oblast; Nigeria atYessentuki and Stavropol Krai; Panama at Saransk and Republic of Mordovia; and Peru at Moscow. Sochi and Krasnodar Krai are reserved for Poland; Ramenskoye and Moscow Oblast for Portugal; Khimki and Moscow Oblast for Russia; Saint Petersburg for Saudi Arabia; Kaluga and Kaluga Oblast for Senegal; and Svetlogorsk and Kaliningrad Oblast reserved for Serbia. South Korea would camp at Saint Petersburg; Spain at Krasnodar and Krasnodar Krai; Switzerland at Togliatti and Samara Oblast; Sweden at Gelendzhik at Krasnodar Krai; Tunisia atPervomayskoye and Moscow Oblast while Uruguay would camp atBor and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.
A total amount of $400 million (USD) has been earmarked as prize money for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. While the champions go home with $38 million (USD), the runners-up will go with $28 million (USD) and the third-placed team will go with $24 million (USD). Then, fourth-placed team will have $22 million (USD), 5th–8th placed teams will go with $16 million (USD) each, 9th–16th placed teams will have $12 million (USD) each, and the 17th–32nd placed teams will end up with $8 million (USD) each.