The 21st FIFA World Cup 2018 is going to be contested by 32 members teams in Russia. FIFA World Cup 2018 is the most prestigious tournament and the most viewed and followed sport event in the world. The estimated audience for the 2006 FIFA World Cup was 26.29 billion that is more than of Olympic Games.
The biding process to host 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018 began in January 2009. Initial bid was submitted by 9 countries Indonesia, Russia, Spain, England, Belgium and Mexico as member countries and Japan, United States and Australia as non member countries. The Mexico later withdrew the bid and Indonesian bid was rejected due to non governmental support. Later on bids submitted by non member countries were also withdrawn.
22 member FIFA Executive Committee decided to vote for the remaining four countries to host the international event. Russia won the bid by getting highest 9 votes in first round and 13 in the second round. Spain stood at second by getting 7,7 votes in both rounds. Belgium 3rd and England eliminated in second round.
Russia proposed 13 cities and 16 stadiums to host the World Cup event which were later reduced to 10 cities and 12 stadiums. 3 of the 12 stadiums were extremely renovated and the 9 stadiums are newly constructed as per requirement by FIFA. An estimated amount of 11.8 billion has been spent on hosting the evThe teament.
Teams included in groups are listed below:
Group A Russia Saudi Arabia Egypt Uruguay
Group B Portugal Spain Morocco IR Iran
Group C France Australia Peru Denmark
Group D Argentina Iceland Croatia Nigeria
Group E Brazil Switzerland Costa Rica Serbia
Group F Germany Mexico Sweden Korea Republic
Group G Belgium Panama Tunisia England
Group H Poland Senegal Colombia Japan
The official match ball is called “Telstar 18” based on the first Adidas World Cup ball from 1970 introduced on 9 Nov 2017. The official song of the tournament is “Live it up” by Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi, released on 25 May 2018. Official Music Video of World Cup song was released on 8 June.
Massive budget has been allocated for transport. Two new hotels have been constructed and other accommodation facilities. Special arrangements have been done on airports. FIFA World Cup 2018 logo was released in 2014 by International Space Station. It was inspired by Russia’s rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation, said by Vitaly Mutko (Russian Sports Minister).
The FIFA World Cup been controversial by many other countries on the issues of racism, conflict in Ukraine and the allegations of corruption. England threat to boycott the event but the FIFA continued its decision to host the event in Russia as it won the bid. FBI started investigation on corruption allegations. The tournament also got threats by ISIS that the fans would be bombed via drones.