2018 FIFA World Cup

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2018 FIFA World Cup
Чемпионат мира по футболу FIFA 2018
Chempionat mira po futbolu FIFA 2018
2018 елгы дөнья футбол чемпионаты
2018 FIFA World Cup.svg
2018 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host countryRussia
Dates14 June – 15 July
Teams32 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)12 (in 11 host cities)
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of France.svg  France (2nd title)
Runners-upFlag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Third placeFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Fourth placeFlag of England.svg  England
Tournament statistics
Matches played64
Goals scored169 (2.64 per match)
Attendance3,031,768 (47,371 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of England.svg Harry Kane (6 goals)
Best player(s) Flag of Croatia.svg Luka Modrić
Best young player Flag of France.svg Kylian Mbappé
Best goalkeeper Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thibaut Courtois
Fair play awardFlag of Spain.svg  Spain
2014
2022

The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years. It took place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. [1] It was the first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe, [2] and the 11th time that it had been held in Europe. At an estimated cost of over $14.2 billion, it was the most expensive World Cup. [3] It was also the first World Cup to use the video assistant referee (VAR) system. [4] [5]

FIFA World Cup association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Eastern Europe eastern part of the European continent

Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent. There is no consensus on the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations. There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related United Nations paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct".

Contents

The finals involved 32 teams, of which 31 came through qualifying competitions, while the host nation qualified automatically. Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the previous tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues across 11 cities. [6]

The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process was a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams which would play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with Russia qualifying automatically as hosts. All 210 remaining FIFA member associations were eligible to enter the qualifying process, and for the first time in World Cup history, all eligible national teams registered for the preliminary competition, but Zimbabwe and Indonesia were disqualified before playing their first matches. Bhutan, South Sudan, Gibraltar and Kosovo made their FIFA World Cup qualification debuts.

Russia national football team mens national association football team representing Russia

The Russia national football team represents Russia in association football and is controlled by the Russian Football Union, the governing body for football in Russia. Russia is a member of UEFA, they won the first edition of the respective continental competition in 1960 as the Soviet Union.

2014 FIFA World Cup 20th FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil in 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organised by FIFA. It took place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2007. It was the second time that Brazil staged the competition, the first being in 1950, and the fifth time that it was held in South America.

Germany were the defending champions, but were eliminated in the group stage.

Germany national football team mens national association football team representing Germany

The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Ever since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were also recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland (1950–1956) and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team. The official name and code "Germany FR (FRG)" was shortened to "Germany (GER)" following the reunification in 1990.

The final took place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, between France and Croatia. France won the match 4–2 to claim their second World Cup title, marking the fourth consecutive title won by a European team.

2018 FIFA World Cup Final final game of the 21st FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 15 July 2018 to determine the winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It was the final of the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA. The match was contested by France and Croatia, and held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.

Luzhniki Stadium sports stadium in Russia

Luzhniki Stadium is the national stadium of Russia, located in its capital city, Moscow. The full name of the stadium is Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex. Its total seating capacity of 81,000 makes it the largest football stadium in Russia and one of the largest stadiums in Europe. The stadium is a part of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, and is located in Khamovniki District of the Central Administrative Okrug of Moscow city. The name Luzhniki derives from the flood meadows in the bend of Moskva River where the stadium was built, translating roughly as "The Meadows".

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

Host selection

Russian bid personnel celebrate the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia on 2 December 2010. Russia 2018 World Cup.jpeg
Russian bid personnel celebrate the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia on 2 December 2010.
President Vladimir Putin holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy at a pre-tournament ceremony in Moscow on 9 September 2017 Vladimir Putin FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour kick-off ceremony.jpg
President Vladimir Putin holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy at a pre-tournament ceremony in Moscow on 9 September 2017
The 100-ruble commemorative banknote celebrates the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It features an image of Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin. Russia 100 Rubles 2018 FIFA World Cup.jpg
The 100-ruble commemorative banknote celebrates the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It features an image of Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin.

The bidding procedure to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest. [7] Initially, nine countries placed bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico later withdrew from proceedings, [8] and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid. [9] During the bidding process, the three remaining non-UEFA nations (Australia, Japan, and the United States) gradually withdrew from the 2018 bids, and the UEFA nations were thus ruled out of the 2022 bid. As such, there were eventually four bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, two of which were joint bids: England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium, and Portugal/Spain.

The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) selected locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was rejected before FIFA's executive committee voted in November 2010. Two of the remaining nine bids applied only to the 2022 World Cup, while the rest were initially applications for both. Over the course of the bidding, all non-European bids for the 2018 event were withdrawn, resulting in the exclusion of all European bids from consideration for the 2022 edition. By the time of the decision, bids for the 2018 World Cup included England, Russia, a joint bid from Belgium and Netherlands, and a joint bid from Portugal and Spain. Bids for the 2022 World Cup came from Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, and the United States. Indonesia's bid was disqualified due to lack of governmental support, and Mexico withdrew its bid for financial reasons.

UEFA international sport governing body

The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are primarily or entirely located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.

The 22-member FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zürich on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments. [10] Russia won the right to be the 2018 host in the second round of voting. The Portugal/Spain bid came second, and that from Belgium/Netherlands third. England, which was bidding to host its second tournament, was eliminated in the first round. [11]

FIFA Council institution

The FIFA Council is an institution of FIFA. It is the main decision-making body of the organization in the intervals of FIFA Congress. Its members are elected by the FIFA Congress. The council is a non-executive, supervisory and strategic body that sets the vision for FIFA and global football.

Zürich Place in Switzerland

Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

The voting results were as follows: [12]

2018 FIFA bidding (majority 12 votes)
BiddersVotes
Round 1Round 2
Russia913
Portugal / Spain77
Belgium / Netherlands42
England2Eliminated

Criticism

The English Football Association and others raised concerns of bribery on the part of the Russian team and corruption from FIFA members. They claimed that four members of the executive committee had requested bribes to vote for England, and Sepp Blatter had said that it had already been arranged before the vote that Russia would win. [13] The 2014 Garcia Report, an internal investigation led by Michael J. Garcia, was withheld from public release by Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA's head of adjudication on ethical matters. Eckert instead released a shorter revised summary, and his (and therefore FIFA's) reluctance to publish the full report caused Garcia to resign in protest. [14] Because of the controversy, the FA refused to accept Eckert's absolving of Russia from blame, with Greg Dyke calling for a re-examination of the affair and David Bernstein calling for a boycott of the World Cup. [15] [16]

Teams

Qualification

For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, all eligible nations – the 209 FIFA member associations minus automatically qualified hosts Russia – applied to enter the qualifying process. [17] Zimbabwe and Indonesia were later disqualified before playing their first matches, [18] [19] while Gibraltar and Kosovo, who joined FIFA on 13 May 2016 after the qualifying draw but before European qualifying had begun, also entered the competition. [20] Places in the tournament were allocated to continental confederations, with the allocation unchanged from the 2014 World Cup. [21] [22] The first qualification game, between Timor-Leste and Mongolia, began in Dili on 12 March 2015 as part of the AFC's qualification, [23] and the main qualifying draw took place at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, on 25 July 2015. [24] [25] [26] [1]

Of the 32 nations qualified to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 20 countries competed at the previous tournament in 2014. Both Iceland and Panama qualified for the first time, with the former becoming the smallest country in terms of population to reach the World Cup. [27] Other teams returning after absences of at least three tournaments include: Egypt, returning to the finals after their last appearance in 1990; Morocco, who last competed in 1998; Peru, returning after 1982; and Senegal, competing for the second time after reaching the quarter-finals in 2002. It is the first time three Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland and Sweden) and four Arab nations (Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia) have qualified for the World Cup. [28]

Notable countries that failed to qualify include four-time champions Italy (for the first time since 1958), three-time runners-up and third placed in 2014 the Netherlands (for the first time since 2002), and four reigning continental champions: 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon, two-time Copa América champions and 2017 Confederations Cup runners-up Chile, 2016 OFC Nations Cup winners New Zealand, and 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions United States (for the first time since 1986). The other notable qualifying streaks broken were for Ghana and Ivory Coast, who had both made the previous three tournaments. [29]

Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate positions in the FIFA World Rankings at the time of the tournament. [30]

Draw

Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro in Moscow at the 2018 World Cup draw Fabio Cannavaro 2017.jpg
Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro in Moscow at the 2018 World Cup draw

The draw was held on 1 December 2017 at 18:00 MSK at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow. [31] [32] The 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4, by selecting one team from each of the 4 ranked pots.

For the draw, the teams were allocated to four pots based on the FIFA World Rankings of October 2017. Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia (who were automatically assigned to position A1) and the best seven teams, pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, and so on for pots 3 and 4. [33] This was different from previous draws, when only pot 1 was based on FIFA rankings while the remaining pots were based on geographical considerations. However, teams from the same confederation still were not drawn against each other for the group stage, except that two UEFA teams could be in each group.

Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3Pot 4

Flag of Russia.svg  Russia (65) (hosts)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany (1)
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil (2)
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal (3)
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina (4)
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium (5)
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland (6)
Flag of France.svg  France (7)

Flag of Spain.svg  Spain (8)
Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru (10)
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland (11)
Flag of England.svg  England (12)
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia (13)
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico (16)
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay (17)
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (18)

Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark (19)
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland (21)
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica (22)
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden (25)
Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia (28)
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt (30)
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal (32)
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran (34)

Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia (38)
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria (41)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia (43)
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan (44)
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco (48)
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama (49)
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea (62)
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia (63)

Squads

Croatia players after the 2018 World Cup Final against France Croatia's post-match huddle after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final.jpg
Croatia players after the 2018 World Cup Final against France

Initially, each team had to name a preliminary squad of 30 players but, in February 2018, this was increased to 35. [34] From the preliminary squad, the team had to name a final squad of 23 players (three of whom must be goalkeepers) by 4 June. Players in the final squad may be replaced for serious injury up to 24 hours prior to kickoff of the team's first match and such replacements do not need to have been named in the preliminary squad. [35]

For players named in the 35-player preliminary squad, there was a mandatory rest period between 21 and 27 May 2018, except for those involved in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final played on 26 May. [36]

Officiating

On 29 March 2018, FIFA released the list of 36 referees and 63 assistant referees selected to oversee matches. [37] On 30 April 2018, FIFA released the list of 13 video assistant referees, who solely acted in this capacity in the tournament. [38]

Referee Fahad Al-Mirdasi of Saudi Arabia was removed in 30 May 2018 over a match-fixing attempt, [39] along with his two assistant referees, compatriots Mohammed Al-Abakry and Abdulah Al-Shalwai. A new referee was not appointed, but two assistant referees, Hasan Al Mahri of the United Arab Emirates and Hiroshi Yamauchi of Japan, were added to the list. [40] [41] Assistant referee Marwa Range of Kenya also withdrew after the BBC released an investigation conducted by a Ghanaian journalist which implicated Marwa in a bribery scandal. [42]

Video assistant referees

Shortly after the International Football Association Board's decision to incorporate video assistant referees (VARs) into the Laws of the Game, on 16 March 2018, the FIFA Council took the much-anticipated step of approving the use of VAR for the first time in a FIFA World Cup tournament. [43] [44]

VAR operations for all games are operating from a single headquarters in Moscow, which receives live video of the games and are in radio contact with the on-field referees. [45] Systems are in place for communicating VAR-related information to broadcasters and visuals on stadiums' large screens are used for the fans in attendance. [45]

VAR had a significant impact in several games. [46] On 15 June 2018, Diego Costa's goal against Portugal became the first World Cup goal based on a VAR decision; [47] the first penalty as a result of a VAR decision was awarded to France in their match against Australia on 16 June and resulted in a goal by Antoine Griezmann. [48] A record number of penalties were awarded in the tournament, with this phenomenon being partially attributed to VAR. [49] Overall, the new technology has been both praised and criticised by commentators. [50] FIFA declared the implementation of VAR a success after the first week of competition. [51]

Venues

Russia proposed the following host cities: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg. [52] Most cities are in European Russia, while Yekaterinburg [53] is very close to the Europe-Asia border, to reduce travel time for the teams in the huge country. The bid evaluation report stated: "The Russian bid proposes 13 host cities and 16 stadiums, thus exceeding FIFA's minimum requirement. Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed." [54]

In October 2011, Russia decreased the number of stadiums from 16 to 14. Construction of the proposed Podolsk stadium in the Moscow region was cancelled by the regional government, and also in the capital, Otkrytiye Arena was competing with Dynamo Stadium over which would be constructed first. [55]

The final choice of host cities was announced on 29 September 2012. The number of cities was further reduced to 11 and number of stadiums to 12 as Krasnodar and Yaroslavl were dropped from the final list. Of the 12 stadiums used for the tournament, 3 (Luzhniki, Yekaterinburg and Sochi) have been extensively renovated and the other 9 stadiums to be used are brand new; $11.8 billion has been spent on hosting the tournament. [56]

Sepp Blatter stated in July 2014 that, given the concerns over the completion of venues in Russia, the number of venues for the tournament may be reduced from 12 to 10. He also said, "We are not going to be in a situation, as is the case of one, two or even three stadiums in South Africa, where it is a problem of what you do with these stadiums". [57]

Reconstruction of the Yekaterinburg Central Stadium in January 2017 EstadioCentral2017-01-26.jpg
Reconstruction of the Yekaterinburg Central Stadium in January 2017

In October 2014, on their first official visit to Russia, FIFA's inspection committee and its head Chris Unger visited St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and both Moscow venues. They were satisfied with the progress. [58]

On 8 October 2015, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee agreed on the official names of the stadiums used during the tournament. [59]

Of the twelve venues used, the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the Saint Petersburg Stadium – the two largest stadiums in Russia – were used most, both hosting seven matches. Sochi, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara all hosted six matches, including one quarter-final match each, while the Otkrytiye Stadium in Moscow and Rostov-on-Don hosted five matches, including one round-of-16 match each. Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Saransk all hosted four matches, but did not host any knockout stage games.

Stadiums

Exterior of Otkrytie Arena in Moscow Bel-Tun (26).jpg
Exterior of Otkrytie Arena in Moscow

Twelve stadiums in eleven Russian cities were built and renovated for the FIFA World Cup. [60]

Moscow Saint Petersburg Sochi
Luzhniki Stadium Otkritie Arena
(Spartak Stadium)
Krestovsky Stadium
(Saint Petersburg Stadium)
Fisht Olympic Stadium
(Fisht Stadium)
Capacity: 78,011 [64] Capacity: 44,190 [65] Capacity: 64,468 [66] Capacity: 44,287 [67]
Moscow-Exterior of Luzhniki Stadium (2).jpg Stadium Otkrytiye Arena1.jpg Krestovsky Stadium.jpg Fisht Stadium in January 2018.jpg
Volgograd Rostov-on-Don
Volgograd Arena Rostov Arena
Capacity: 43,713 [68] Capacity: 43,472 [69]
Volgograd Arena 2018-06-25 before match Saudi Arabia vs Egypt Outside 01.jpeg Rostov Arena (2).jpg
Nizhny Novgorod Kazan
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium Kazan Arena
Capacity: 43,319 [70] Capacity: 42,873 [71]
Stadion Nizhnii Novgorod, 23 iiunia 2018.jpg Obshchii vid stadiona.jpg
Samara Saransk Kaliningrad Yekaterinburg
Samara Arena Mordovia Arena Kaliningrad Stadium Central Stadium
(Ekaterinburg Arena)
Capacity: 41,970 [72] Capacity: 41,685 [73] Capacity: 33,973 [74] Capacity: 33,061 [75]
Samara arena.png MordoviaArenaStadium.jpg Kaliningrad stadium - 2018-04-07.jpg Japan-Senegal in Yekaterinburg (FIFA World Cup 2018) 06.jpg

Team base camps

Base camps were used by the 32 national squads to stay and train before and during the World Cup tournament. On 9 February 2018, FIFA announced the base camps for each participating team. [76]

Preparation and costs

Budget

Scale model of the Volgograd Arena. Construction began in 2015. Scale model of Volgograd Arena.jpg
Scale model of the Volgograd Arena. Construction began in 2015.

At an estimated cost of over $14.2 billion as of June 2018, [3] it is the most expensive World Cup in history, surpassing the cost of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. [80]

The Russian government had originally earmarked a budget of around $20 billion [81] which was later slashed to $10 billion for the preparations of the World Cup, of which half is spent on transport infrastructure. [82] As part of the program for preparation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a federal sub-program "Construction and Renovation of Transport Infrastructure" was implemented with a total budget of 352.5 billion rubles, with 170.3 billion coming from the federal budget, 35.1 billion from regional budgets, and 147.1 billion from investors. [83] The biggest item of federal spending was the aviation infrastructure (117.8 billion rubles). [84] Construction of new hotels was a crucial area of infrastructure development in the World Cup host cities. Costs continued to balloon as preparations were underway. [80]

Infrastructure spending

Platov International Airport in Rostov-on-Don was upgraded with automated air traffic control systems, modern surveillance, navigation, communication, control, and meteorological support systems. [85] Koltsovo Airport in Yekaterinburg was upgraded with radio-engineering tools for flight operation and received its second runway strip. Saransk Airport received a new navigation system; the city also got two new hotels, Mercure Saransk Centre (Accor Hotels) and Four Points by Sheraton Saransk (Starwood Hotels) as well as few other smaller accommodation facilities. [86] In Samara, new tram lines were laid. [87] Khrabrovo Airport in Kaliningrad was upgraded with radio navigation and weather equipment. [88] Renovation and upgrade of radio-engineering tools for flight operation was completed in the airports of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Volgograd, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Sochi. [85] On 27 March, the Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector of Russia reported that all communications within its area of responsibility have been commissioned. The last facility commissioned was a waste treatment station in Volgograd. In Yekaterinburg, where four matches are hosted, hosting costs increased to over 7.4 billion rubles, over-running the 5.6 billion rubles originally allocated from the state and regional budget. [89]

Volunteers

Volunteer flag bearers on the field prior to Belgium's (flag depicted) group stage match against Tunisia Bel-Tun (3).jpg
Volunteer flag bearers on the field prior to Belgium's (flag depicted) group stage match against Tunisia

Volunteer applications to the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee opened on 1 June 2016. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Volunteer Program received about 177,000 applications, [90] and engaged a total of 35,000 volunteers. [91] They received training at 15 Volunteer Centres of the Local Organising Committee based in 15 universities, and in Volunteer Centres in the host cities. Preference, especially in the key areas, was given to those with knowledge of foreign languages and volunteering experience, but not necessarily to Russian nationals. [92]

Transport

Free public transport services were offered for ticketholders during the World Cup, including additional trains linking between host cities, as well as services such as bus service within them. [93] [94] [95]

Schedule

Launching of a 1,000 days countdown in Moscow Do chempionata mira po futbolu 2018 goda - 1000 dnei 01.jpg
Launching of a 1,000 days countdown in Moscow

The full schedule was announced by FIFA on 24 July 2015 (without kick-off times, which were confirmed later). [96] [97] On 1 December 2017, following the final draw, six kick-off times were adjusted by FIFA. [98]

Russia was placed in position A1 in the group stage and played in the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 14 June against Saudi Arabia, the two lowest-ranked teams of the tournament at the time of the final draw. [99] The Luzhniki Stadium also hosted the second semi-final on 11 July and the final on 15 July. The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg hosted the first semi-final on 10 July and the third place play-off on 14 July. [100] [21]

Opening ceremony

Soprano Aida Garifullina and pop singer Robbie Williams singing "Angels" at the opening ceremony Sdm 4658.jpg
Soprano Aida Garifullina and pop singer Robbie Williams singing "Angels" at the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony took place on Thursday, 14 June 2018, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, preceding the opening match of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia. [101] [102]

At the start of the ceremony, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech, welcoming the countries of the world to Russia and calling football a uniting force. [103] Brazilian World Cup-winning striker Ronaldo entered the stadium with a child in a Russia shirt. [103] Pop singer Robbie Williams then sang two of his songs solo before he and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina performed a duet. [103] Dancers dressed in the flags of the 32 competing teams appeared carrying a sign with the name of each nation. [103] At the end of the ceremony Ronaldo reappeared with the official match ball which had returned from the International Space Station in early June. [103]

Group stage

Competing countries were divided into eight groups of four teams (groups A to H). Teams in each group played one another in a round-robin basis, with the top two teams of each group advancing to the knockout stage. Ten European teams and four South American teams progressed to the knockout stage, together with Japan and Mexico.

For the first time since 1938, Germany (reigning champions) did not advance past the first round. For the first time since 1982, no African team progressed to the second round. For the first time, the fair play criteria came into use, when Japan qualified over Senegal due to having received fewer yellow cards. Only one match, France v Denmark, was goalless. Until then there were a record 36 straight games in which at least one goal was scored. [104]

All times listed below are local time. [98]

Tiebreakers

The ranking of teams in the group stage was determined as follows: [35] [105]

  1. Points obtained in all group matches;
  2. Goal difference in all group matches;
  3. Number of goals scored in all group matches;
  4. Points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
  5. Goal difference in the matches played between the teams in question;
  6. Number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
  7. Fair play points in all group matches (only one deduction could be applied to a player in a single match):
    • Yellow card: –1 points;
    • Indirect red card (second yellow card): –3 points;
    • Direct red card: –4 points;
    • Yellow card and direct red card: –5 points;
  8. Drawing of lots.

Group A

Pre-match ceremony prior to the opening game, Russia v Saudi Arabia 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony (2018-06-14) 15.jpg
Pre-match ceremony prior to the opening game, Russia v Saudi Arabia
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 330050+59Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Russia.svg  Russia (H)320184+46
3Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 31022753
4Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 30032640
Source: FIFA
(H) Host.
Russia  Flag of Russia.svg 5–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Report
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [106]
Referee: Néstor Pitana (Argentina)
Egypt  Flag of Egypt.svg 0–1 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Report

Russia  Flag of Russia.svg 3–1 Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Report
Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg 1–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Report
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Attendance: 42,678 [109]
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)

Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg 3–0 Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Report
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Attendance: 41,970 [110]
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)
Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 2–1 Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Report
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Attendance: 36,823 [111]
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (Colombia)

Group B

Iran vs. Portugal Iran and Portugal match at the FIFA World Cup 2018 3.jpg
Iran vs. Portugal
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 312065+15Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 312054+15
3Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 31112204
4Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 30122421
Source: FIFA
Morocco  Flag of Morocco.svg 0–1 Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Report
Portugal  Flag of Portugal.svg 3–3 Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
Report
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Attendance: 43,866 [113]
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)

Portugal  Flag of Portugal.svg 1–0 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Report
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [114]
Referee: Mark Geiger (United States)
Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 0–1 Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
Report
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Attendance: 42,718 [115]
Referee: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay)

Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 1–1 Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Report
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Attendance: 41,685 [116]
Referee: Enrique Cáceres (Paraguay)
Spain  Flag of Spain.svg 2–2 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Report

Group C

Australia v Peru Robbi Kruz 2018.jpg
Australia v Peru
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of France.svg  France 321031+27Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 312021+15
3Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 31022203
4Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 30122531
Source: FIFA
France  Flag of France.svg 2–1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Report
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Attendance: 41,279 [118]
Referee: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay)
Peru  Flag of Peru (state).svg 0–1 Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Report
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Attendance: 40,502 [119]
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg 1–1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Report
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Attendance: 40,727 [120]
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
France  Flag of France.svg 1–0 Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru
Report

Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg 0–0 Flag of France.svg  France
Report
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [122]
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 0–2 Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru
Report
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Attendance: 44,073 [123]
Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)

Group D

Iceland v Croatia ISL-HRV (9).jpg
Iceland v Croatia
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 330071+69Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 31113524
3Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 31023413
4Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland 30122531
Source: FIFA
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 1–1 Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland
Report
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Attendance: 44,190 [124]
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg 2–0 Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Report
Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
Attendance: 31,136 [125]
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 0–3 Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Report
Nigeria  Flag of Nigeria.svg 2–0 Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland
Report
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Attendance: 40,904 [127]
Referee: Matthew Conger (New Zealand)

Nigeria  Flag of Nigeria.svg 1–2 Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Report
Iceland  Flag of Iceland.svg 1–2 Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Report
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Attendance: 43,472 [129]
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

Group E

Brazil v Costa Rica Bra-Cos (7).jpg
Brazil v Costa Rica
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 321051+47Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 312054+15
3Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 31022423
4Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 30122531
Source: FIFA
Costa Rica  Flag of Costa Rica.svg 0–1 Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Report
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Attendance: 41,432 [130]
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)
Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 1–1 Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Report

Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 2–0 Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica
Report
Serbia  Flag of Serbia.svg 1–2 Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Report
Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
Attendance: 33,167 [133]
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

Serbia  Flag of Serbia.svg 0–2 Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Report
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Attendance: 44,190 [134]
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
Switzerland   Flag of Switzerland.svg 2–2 Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica
Report

Group F

Germany v Mexico Ger-Mex (16).jpg
Germany v Mexico
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 320152+36Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 32013416
3Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 31023303
4Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 31022423
Source: FIFA
Germany  Flag of Germany.svg 0–1 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Report
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [136]
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
Sweden  Flag of Sweden.svg 1–0 Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Report

South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 1–2 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Report
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Attendance: 43,472 [138]
Referee: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)
Germany  Flag of Germany.svg 2–1 Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Report
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Attendance: 44,287 [139]
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 2–0 Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Report
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Attendance: 41,835 [140]
Referee: Mark Geiger (United States)
Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg 0–3 Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Report

Group G

Belgium v Tunisia Bel-Tun (6).jpg
Belgium v Tunisia
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 330092+79Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of England.svg  England 320183+56
3Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 31025833
4Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 300321190
Source: FIFA
Belgium  Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 3–0 Flag of Panama.svg  Panama
Report
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Attendance: 43,257 [142]
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
Tunisia  Flag of Tunisia.svg 1–2 Flag of England.svg  England
Report
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Attendance: 41,064 [143]
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (Colombia)

Belgium  Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 5–2 Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia
Report
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Attendance: 44,190 [144]
Referee: Jair Marrufo (United States)
England  Flag of England.svg 6–1 Flag of Panama.svg  Panama
Report

England  Flag of England.svg 0–1 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Report
Panama  Flag of Panama.svg 1–2 Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia
Report
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Attendance: 37,168 [147]
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)

Group H

Japan v Poland JAP-POL (13).jpg
Japan v Poland
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 320152+36Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 31114404 [lower-alpha 1]
3Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 31114404 [lower-alpha 1]
4Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 31022533
Source: FIFA
Notes:
  1. 1 2 Fair play points: Japan −4, Senegal −6.
Colombia  Flag of Colombia.svg 1–2 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Report
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Attendance: 40,842 [148]
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
Poland  Flag of Poland.svg 1–2 Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal
Report
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Attendance: 44,190 [149]
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)

Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 2–2 Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal
Report
Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg
Attendance: 32,572 [150]
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
Poland  Flag of Poland.svg 0–3 Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Report
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Attendance: 42,873 [151]
Referee: César Arturo Ramos (Mexico)

Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 0–1 Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Report
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Attendance: 42,189 [152]
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
Senegal  Flag of Senegal.svg 0–1 Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Report
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Attendance: 41,970 [153]
Referee: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)

Knockout stage

Russia v Croatia Modrich protiv Dziuby ChM po futbolu 2018.jpg
Russia v Croatia

In the knockout stages, if a match is level at the end of normal playing time, extra time is played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by a penalty shoot-out to determine the winners. [35]

If a match went into extra time, each team was allowed to make a fourth substitution, the first time this had been allowed in a FIFA World Cup tournament. [43]

Bracket

 
Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
              
 
30 June – Sochi
 
 
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 2
 
6 July – Nizhny Novgorod
 
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 1
 
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 0
 
30 June – Kazan
 
Flag of France.svg  France 2
 
Flag of France.svg  France 4
 
10 July – Saint Petersburg
 
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 3
 
Flag of France.svg  France 1
 
2 July – Samara
 
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 0
 
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 2
 
6 July – Kazan
 
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 0
 
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1
 
2 July – Rostov-on-Don
 
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2
 
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 3
 
15 July – Moscow (Luzhniki)
 
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2
 
Flag of France.svg  France 4
 
1 July – Moscow (Luzhniki)
 
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 2
 
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 1 (3)
 
7 July – Sochi
 
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia (p)1 (4)
 
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 2 (3)
 
1 July – Nizhny Novgorod
 
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (p)2 (4)
 
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (p)1 (3)
 
11 July – Moscow (Luzhniki)
 
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 1 (2)
 
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (a.e.t.)2
 
3 July – Saint Petersburg
 
Flag of England.svg  England 1 Third place play-off
 
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1
 
7 July – Samara 14 July – Saint Petersburg
 
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 0
 
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 0Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2
 
3 July – Moscow (Otkritie)
 
Flag of England.svg  England 2 Flag of England.svg  England 0
 
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 1 (3)
 
 
Flag of England.svg  England (p)1 (4)
 

Round of 16

France  Flag of France.svg 4–3 Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Report
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Attendance: 42,873 [154]
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)

Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg 2–1 Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Report

Spain  Flag of Spain.svg 1–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Report
Penalties
3–4
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [156]
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)


Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 2–0 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Report
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Attendance: 41,970 [158]
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)

Belgium  Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 3–2 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Report
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Attendance: 41,466 [159]
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)

Sweden  Flag of Sweden.svg 1–0 Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Report

Colombia  Flag of Colombia.svg 1–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of England.svg  England
Report
Penalties
3–4
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Attendance: 44,190 [161]
Referee: Mark Geiger (United States)

Quarter-finals

Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg 0–2 Flag of France.svg  France
Report

Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 1–2 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Report
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Attendance: 42,873 [163]
Referee: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)

Sweden  Flag of Sweden.svg 0–2 Flag of England.svg  England
Report
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Attendance: 39,991 [164]
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)

Semi-finals

France  Flag of France.svg 1–0 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Report

Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg 2–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of England.svg  England
Report
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [167]
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)

Third place play-off

Belgium  Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 2–0 Flag of England.svg  England
Report

Final

France  Flag of France.svg 4–2 Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Report
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 78,011 [169]
Referee: Néstor Pitana (Argentina)

Statistics

Goalscorers

There were 169 goals scored in 64 matches, for an average of 2.64 goals per match.

Twelve own goals were scored during the tournament, doubling the record of six set in 1998. [170]

6 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

1 own goal

Source: FIFA [171]

Discipline

In total, only four players were sent off in the entire tournament, the fewest since 1978. [172] International Football Association Board technical director David Elleray stated a belief that this was due to the introduction of VAR, since players would know that they would not be able to get away with anything under the new system. [173]

A player is automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences: [35]

The following suspensions were served during the tournament:

PlayerOffence(s)Suspension(s)
Flag of Colombia.svg Carlos Sánchez Red card.svg in Group H vs Japan (matchday 1; 19 June) Group H vs Poland (matchday 2; 24 June)
Flag of Denmark.svg Yussuf Poulsen Yellow card.svg in Group C vs Peru (matchday 1; 16 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group C vs Australia (matchday 2; 21 June)
Group C vs France (matchday 3; 26 June)
Flag of Germany.svg Jérôme Boateng Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg in Group F vs Sweden (matchday 2; 23 June) Group F vs South Korea (matchday 3; 27 June)
Flag of Panama.svg Armando Cooper Yellow card.svg in Group G vs Belgium (matchday 1; 18 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group G vs England (matchday 2; 24 June)
Group G vs Tunisia (matchday 3; 28 June)
Flag of Panama.svg Michael Amir Murillo Yellow card.svg in Group G vs Belgium (matchday 1; 18 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group G vs England (matchday 2; 24 June)
Group G vs Tunisia (matchday 3; 28 June)
Flag of Russia.svg Igor Smolnikov Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg in Group A vs Uruguay (matchday 3; 25 June) Round of 16 vs Spain (1 July)
Flag of Sweden.svg Sebastian Larsson Yellow card.svg in Group F vs Germany (matchday 2; 23 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group F vs Mexico (matchday 3; 27 June)
Round of 16 vs Switzerland (3 July)
Flag of Mexico.svg Héctor Moreno Yellow card.svg in Group F vs Germany (matchday 1; 17 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group F vs Sweden (matchday 3; 27 June)
Round of 16 vs Brazil (2 July)
Flag of Switzerland.svg Stephan Lichtsteiner Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Brazil (matchday 1; 17 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Costa Rica (matchday 3; 27 June)
Round of 16 vs Sweden (3 July)
Flag of Switzerland.svg Fabian Schär Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Brazil (matchday 1; 17 June)
Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Costa Rica (matchday 3; 27 June)
Round of 16 vs Sweden (3 July)
Flag of France.svg Blaise Matuidi Yellow card.svg in Group C vs Peru (matchday 2; 21 June)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Argentina (30 June)
Quarter-finals vs Uruguay (6 July)
Flag of Brazil.svg Casemiro Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Switzerland (matchday 1; 17 June)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Mexico (2 July)
Quarter-finals vs Belgium (6 July)
Flag of Sweden.svg Mikael Lustig Yellow card.svg in Group F vs Mexico (matchday 3; 27 June)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Switzerland (3 July)
Quarter-finals vs England (7 July)
Flag of Switzerland.svg Michael Lang Red card.svg in Round of 16 vs Sweden (3 July)Suspension served outside tournament
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thomas Meunier Yellow card.svg in Group G vs Panama (matchday 1; 18 June)
Yellow card.svg in Quarter-finals vs Brazil (6 July)
Semi-finals vs France (10 July)

Awards

Luka Modric accepting the Golden Ball award from Vladimir Putin Luka Modric receives the golden ball prize at the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.jpg
Luka Modrić accepting the Golden Ball award from Vladimir Putin
Kylian Mbappe receiving the World Cup best young player award from Emmanuel Macron Kylian Mbappe receives the best young player award at the 2018 Football World Cup Russia.jpg
Kylian Mbappé receiving the World Cup best young player award from Emmanuel Macron
France lifting the World Cup trophy France champion of the Football World Cup Russia 2018.jpg
France lifting the World Cup trophy

The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament. The Golden Boot (top scorer), Golden Ball (best overall player) and Golden Glove (best goalkeeper) awards were all sponsored by Adidas. [174]

Golden BallSilver BallBronze Ball
Flag of Croatia.svg Luka Modrić Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Eden Hazard Flag of France.svg Antoine Griezmann
Golden BootSilver BootBronze Boot
Flag of England.svg Harry Kane
(6 goals, 0 assists)
Flag of France.svg Antoine Griezmann
(4 goals, 2 assists)
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Romelu Lukaku
(4 goals, 1 assist)
Golden Glove
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thibaut Courtois
Best Young Player
Flag of France.svg Kylian Mbappé
FIFA Fair Play Award
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain

Additionally, FIFA.com shortlisted 18 goals for users to vote on as the tournaments' best. [175] The poll closed on 23 July. The award was sponsored by Hyundai. [176]

Goal of the Tournament
GoalscorerOpponentScoreRound
Flag of France.svg Benjamin Pavard Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 2–2 Round of 16

Dream Team

As was the case during the 2010 and 2014 editions, FIFA did not release an official All-Star Team, but instead invited users of FIFA.com to elect their Fan Dream Team. [177] [178]

GoalkeeperDefendersMidfieldersForwards
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thibaut Courtois Flag of Brazil.svg Marcelo
Flag of Brazil.svg Thiago Silva
Flag of France.svg Raphaël Varane
Flag of Uruguay.svg Diego Godín
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Kevin De Bruyne
Flag of Brazil.svg Philippe Coutinho
Flag of Croatia.svg Luka Modrić
Flag of England.svg Harry Kane
Flag of France.svg Kylian Mbappé
Flag of Portugal.svg Cristiano Ronaldo

FIFA also published an alternate team of the tournament based on player performances evaluated through statistical data. [179]

GoalkeeperDefendersMidfieldersForwards
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thibaut Courtois Flag of Sweden.svg Andreas Granqvist
Flag of Brazil.svg Thiago Silva
Flag of France.svg Raphaël Varane
Flag of Colombia.svg Yerry Mina
Flag of Russia.svg Denis Cheryshev
Flag of Brazil.svg Philippe Coutinho
Flag of Croatia.svg Luka Modrić
Flag of England.svg Harry Kane
Flag of France.svg Antoine Griezmann
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Eden Hazard

Prize money

Prize money amounts were announced in October 2017. [180]

PositionAmount (million USD)
Per teamTotal
Champions3838
Runner-up2828
Third place2424
Fourth place2222
5th–8th place (quarter-finals)1664
9th–16th place (round of 16)1296
17th–32nd place (group stage)8128
Total400

Marketing

The typeface "Dusha" used for branding Dusha typeface sample2.tiff
The typeface "Dusha" used for branding

Branding

The tournament logo was unveiled on 28 October 2014 by cosmonauts at the International Space Station and then projected onto Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre during an evening television programme. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the logo was inspired by "Russia's rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation", and FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated that it reflected the "heart and soul" of the country. [181] For the branding, Portuguese design agency Brandia Central created materials in 2014, with a typeface called Dusha (from душа , Russian  for soul) designed by Brandia Central and edited by Adotbelow of DSType Foundry in Portugal. [182]

Mascot

Tournament mascot, wolf Zabivaka Rus-IvoryCoast (13).jpg
Tournament mascot, wolf Zabivaka

The official mascot for the tournament was unveiled 21 October 2016, and selected through a design competition among university students. A public vote was used to select from three finalists—a cat, a tiger, and a wolf. The winner, with 53% of approximately 1 million votes, was Zabivaka—an anthropomorphic wolf dressed in the colours of the Russian national team. Zabivaka's name is a portmanteau of the Russian words забияка ("hothead") and забивать ("to score"), and his official backstory states that he is an aspiring football player who is "charming, confident and social". [183]

Ticketing

The first phase of ticket sales started on 14 September 2017, 12:00 Moscow Time, and lasted until 12 October 2017. [184]

The general visa policy of Russia did not apply to participants and spectators, who were able to visit Russia without a visa right before and during the competition regardless of their citizenship. [185] Spectators were nonetheless required to register for a "Fan-ID", a special photo identification pass. A Fan-ID was required to enter the country visa-free, while a ticket, Fan-ID and a valid passport were required to enter stadiums for matches. Fan-IDs also granted World Cup attendees free access to public transport services, including buses, and train service between host cities. Fan-ID was administered by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, who could revoke these accreditations at any time to "ensure the defence capability or security of the state or public order". [93] [94] [95]

Match ball

Match ball "Telstar 18" Adidas Telstar 18 in Russia vs. Argentina.jpg
Match ball "Telstar 18"
Match ball for the knockout stage, "Telstar Mechta". Adidas Telstar Mechta Ball On the Handover Ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup host mantle.jpg
Match ball for the knockout stage, "Telstar Mechta".

The official match ball, the "Telstar 18", was unveiled 9 November 2017. It is based on the name and design of the first Adidas World Cup ball from 1970. [186] A special red-coloured variation, "Telstar Mechta", was used for the knockout stage of the tournament. The word mechta (Russian: мечта) means dream or ambition. [187]

Goalkeepers noted that the ball was slippery and prone to having unpredictable trajectory. [188] [189] In addition, two Telstar 18 balls popped in the midst of a first-round match between France and Australia, leading to further discussions over the ball's performance. [190] [191]

Merchandise

On 29 May 2018, Electronic Arts released a free update to FIFA 18 that added content related to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The expansion included a World Cup tournament mode with all teams and stadiums from the event, official television presentation elements, and World Cup-related content for the Ultimate Team mode. [192] [193]

Panini continued their partnership with FIFA by producing stickers for their World Cup sticker album. [194] Panini also developed an app for the 2018 World Cup where fans could collect and swap virtual stickers, with five million fans gathering digital stickers for the tournament. [195] [196]

Official song

The official song of the tournament was "Live It Up", with vocals from Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi, released on 25 May 2018. Its music video was released on 8 June 2018. [197]

Controversies

Thirty-three footballers who are alleged to be part of the steroid program are listed in the McLaren Report. [198] On 22 December 2017, it was reported that FIFA fired a doctor who had been investigating doping in Russian football. [199] On 22 May 2018 FIFA confirmed that the investigations concerning all Russian players named for the provisional squad of the FIFA World Cup in Russia had been completed, with the result that insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation. [200] FIFA's medical committee also decided that Russian personnel would not be involved in performing drug testing procedures at the tournament; the action was taken to reassure teams that the samples would remain untampered. [201]

Host selection

The choice of Russia as host has been challenged. Controversial issues have included the level of racism in Russian football, [202] [203] [204] and discrimination against LGBT peopl