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    A public vote was used to select from three finalists—a cat, a tiger, and a wolf. Retrieved 20 June 2018. Race Race Name Pole Position Fastest lap Winning driver Winning team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Championship standings Drivers' championship Pos. The construction of the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium commenced in 2015.

    Retrieved 13 November 2013. On 26 March , the winner with the team, was announced as replacement for Monteiro for the first rounds of the season as Monteiro was not medically cleared. Retrieved 2 February 2018. Response to Skripal poisoning In response to the March 2018 , British Prime Minister announced that no British ministers or members of the royal family would attend the World Cup, and issued a warning to any travelling England fans.

    World Cup 2018: The Ultimate Interactive Infographic - For the first time since , Germany reigning champions did not advance past the first round. DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data on this site, we cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes which may occur.

    For the video game, see. The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st , an international tournament contested by the of the member associations of once every four years. It took place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. It was the first World Cup to be held in , and the 11th time that it had been held in Europe. It was also the first World Cup to use the VAR system. Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the previous tournament in , while both and made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues across 11 cities. The took place on 15 July at the in , between and. France won the match 4—2 to claim their , marking the fourth consecutive title won by a European team. The 100- commemorative banknote celebrates the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It features an image of Soviet goalkeeper. The began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest. Initially, nine countries placed bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico later withdrew from proceedings, and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid. During the bidding process, the three remaining non- 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. The 22-member convened in on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments. Russia won the right to be the 2018 host in the second round of voting. England, which was bidding to host its second tournament, was eliminated in the first round. They claimed that four members of the executive committee had requested bribes to vote for England, and had said that it had already been arranged before the vote that Russia would win. The 2014 , an internal investigation led by , was withheld from public release by , 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. Because of the controversy, the FA refused to accept Eckert's absolving of Russia from blame, with calling for a re-examination of the affair and calling for a boycott of the World Cup. Main article: For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, all eligible nations — the 209 minus automatically qualified hosts Russia — applied to enter the qualifying process. Places in the tournament were allocated to continental confederations, with the allocation unchanged from the 2014 World Cup. The first qualification game, between and , began in on 12 March 2015 as part of the , and the main qualifying draw took place at the Konstantinovsky Palace in , , on 25 July 2015. Of the 32 nations qualified to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 20 countries competed at the previous tournament in. Both Iceland and Panama qualified for the first time, with the former becoming the to reach the World Cup. 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 Denmark, Iceland and Sweden and four Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia have qualified for the World Cup. Notable countries that failed to qualify include four-time champions for the first time since 1958 , three-time runners-up and third placed in 2014 the for the first time since 2002 , and four reigning continental champions: winners , two-time champions and runners-up , winners , and champions for the first time since 1986. The other notable qualifying streaks broken were for and , who had both made the previous three tournaments. Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate positions in the at the time of the tournament. Italian World Cup winner in Moscow at the 2018 World Cup draw The draw was held on 1 December 2017 at 18:00 at the in. 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 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. 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 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 65 hosts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 16 17 18 19 21 22 25 28 30 32 34 38 41 43 44 48 49 62 63 Squads players after the against France Initially, each team had to name a preliminary squad of 30 players but, in February 2018, this was increased to 35. 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. 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 played on 26 May. Main article: On 29 March 2018, released the list of 36 referees and 63 assistant referees selected to oversee matches. On 30 April 2018, FIFA released the list of 13 video assistant referees, who solely acted in this capacity in the tournament. Referee of Saudi Arabia was removed in 30 May 2018 over a match-fixing attempt, 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. Assistant referee of Kenya also withdrew after the released an investigation conducted by a Ghanaian journalist which implicated Marwa in a bribery scandal. List of officials Confederation Referee Assistant referees Video assistant referees Reza Sokhandan Mohammadreza Mansouri Jakhongir Saidov Mohamed Al Hammadi Hasan Al Mahri Toru Sagara Hiroshi Yamauchi Yaser Tulefat Taleb Al Maari Anouar Hmila Djibril Camara El Hadji Samba Jean Claude Birumushahu Abdelhak Etchiali Redouane Achik Waleed Ahmed Jerson Dos Santos Zakhele Siwela Juan Zumba Juan Carlos Mora Frank Anderson Corey Rockwell Gabriel Victoria Marvin Torrentera Miguel Hernández Carlos Astroza Christian Schiemann Eduardo Cardozo Juan Zorrilla Nicolás Tarán Hernán Maidana Juan Pablo Belatti Emerson de Carvalho Marcelo Van Gasse Alexander Guzmán Cristian de la Cruz Simon Lount Tevita Makasini Bertrand Brial Mark Borsch Stefan Lupp Bahattin Duran Tarık Ongun Anton Averianov Tikhon Kalugin Sander van Roekel Erwin Zeinstra Paweł Sokolnicki Tomasz Listkiewicz Pau Cebrián Devís Roberto Díaz Pérez Milovan Ristić Dalibor Đurđević Elenito Di Liberatore Mauro Tonolini Jure Praprotnik Robert Vukan Cyril Gringore Nicolas Danos Video assistant referees VAR in use in during the Group D match between Nigeria and Iceland, at Volgograd. Shortly after the 's decision to incorporate VARs into the , on 16 March 2018, the took the much-anticipated step of approving the use of VAR for the first time in a FIFA World Cup tournament. 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. Systems are in place for communicating VAR-related information to broadcasters and visuals on stadiums' large screens are used for the fans in attendance. VAR had a significant impact in several games. On 15 June 2018, 's goal against Portugal became the first World Cup goal based on a VAR decision; 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. A record number of penalties were awarded in the tournament, with this phenomenon being partially attributed to VAR. Overall, the new technology has been both praised and criticised by commentators. FIFA declared the implementation of VAR a success after the first week of competition. Further information: Wikimedia Commons has media related to. Russia proposed the following host cities: , , , , , , , , , , , , and. Most cities are in , while and are very close to the Europe-Asia border, to reduce travel time for the teams in the huge country. Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed. Construction of the proposed stadium in the Moscow region was cancelled by the regional government, and also in the capital, was competing with over which would be constructed first. 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. 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. 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. On 8 October 2015, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee agreed on the official names of the stadiums used during the tournament. 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 A total of twelve stadiums in eleven Russian cities were built and renovated for the FIFA World Cup. The first piles were driven into the ground in September 2015. On 11 April 2018 the new stadium hosted its first match. The stadium was built for the 2013 Summer Universiade. It has since hosted the 2015 World Aquatics Championship and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The stadium serves as a home arena to. The largest stadium in the country was closed for renovation in 2013. The stadium was commissioned in November 2017. The stadium is a home arena to its namesake. In accordance with the FIFA requirements, during the 2018 World Cup it is called Spartak Stadium instead of its usual name Otkritie Arena. The stadium hosted its first match on 5 September 2014. The construction of the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium commenced in 2015. The project was completed in December 2017. The stadium is located on the left bank of the Don River. The stadium construction was completed on 22 December 2017. The construction of the stadium commenced in 2007. The project was officially completed on 29 December 2016. The stadium has hosted games of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and will serve as a venue for. The construction officially started on 21 July 2014. The project was completed on 21 April 2018. The stadium in Saransk was scheduled to be commissioned in 2012 in time for the opening of the all-Russian Spartakiad, but the plan was revised. The opening was rescheduled to 2017. The arena hosted its first match on 21 April 2018. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the. Afterwards, it was renovated in preparation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup. The main arena of Volgograd was built on the demolished site, at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The stadium was commissioned on 3 April 2018. The Central Stadium of Yekaterinburg has been renovated for the FIFA World Cup. The arena's stands have a capacity of 35,000 spectators. The renovation project was completed in December 2017. Spartak Stadium Saint Petersburg Stadium Fisht Stadium Capacity: 78,011 Capacity: 44,190 Capacity: 64,468 Capacity: 44,287 Capacity: 43,713 Capacity: 43,472 Capacity: 43,319 Capacity: 42,873 Ekaterinburg Arena Capacity: 41,970 Capacity: 41,685 Capacity: 33,973 Capacity: 33,061 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. Construction began in 2015. The biggest item of federal spending was the aviation infrastructure 117. 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. Infrastructure spending in was upgraded with automated air traffic control systems, modern surveillance, navigation, communication, control, and meteorological support systems. In , new tram lines were laid. Renovation and upgrade of radio-engineering tools for flight operation was completed in the airports of , , , , Yekaterinburg, and. 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. Volunteers Volunteer flag bearers on the field prior to 's flag depicted group stage match against 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, and engaged a total of 35,000 volunteers. 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. Transport Free 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. 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. On 1 December 2017, following the final draw, six kick-off times were adjusted by FIFA. Russia was placed in position A1 in the group stage and played in the opening match at the in on 14 June against , the two lowest-ranked teams of the tournament at the time of the final draw. The Luzhniki Stadium also hosted the second semi-final on 11 July and the final on 15 July. The in hosted the first semi-final on 10 July and the third place play-off on 14 July. Former Brazilian World Cup-winning striker walked out with a child wearing a Russia 2018 shirt. English pop singer then performed two songs before he and Russian soprano performed a duet while other performers emerged, dressed in the flags of all 32 teams and carrying a sign bearing the name of each nation. Dancers were also present. Ronaldo returned with the official match ball of the 2018 World Cup which was sent into space with the crew in March and came back to Earth in early June. Competing countries were divided into eight groups of four teams groups A to H. Teams in each group played one another in a basis, with the top two teams of each group advancing to the. Ten European teams and four South American teams progressed to the knockout stage, together with Japan and Mexico. For the first time since , Germany reigning champions did not advance past the first round. For the first time since , 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. All times listed below are. 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. Bracket Main article: In total, only four players were sent off in the entire tournament, the fewest since. The Golden Boot top scorer , Golden Ball best overall player and Golden Glove best goalkeeper awards were all sponsored by. Golden Ball Silver Ball Bronze Ball Golden Boot Silver Boot Bronze Boot 6 goals, 0 assists 4 goals, 2 assists 4 goals, 1 assist Golden Glove Best Young Player FIFA Fair Play Award Additionally, FIFA. The poll closed on 23 July. The award was sponsored by. Goal of the Tournament Goalscorer Opponent Score Round 2—2 Dream Team As was the case during the 2010 and 2014 editions, FIFA did not release an official , but instead invited users of FIFA. Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards FIFA also published an alternate team of the tournament based on player performances evaluated through statistical data. Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards Prize money Prize money amounts were announced in October 2017. For the branding, Portuguese design agency Brandia Central created materials in 2014, with a typeface called Dusha from , for soul designed by Brandia Central and edited by Adotbelow of DSType Foundry in Portugal. Mascot Tournament mascot, wolf Zabivaka The 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 wolf dressed in the colours of the Russian national team. Ticketing The first phase of ticket sales started on 14 September 2017, 12:00 , and lasted until 12 October 2017. The general 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. 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 between host cities. It was introduced on 9 November 2017. The word mechta Russian: means dream or ambition. The difference between Telstar 18 and Mechta is the red details on the design. Merchandise Main article: Thirty-three footballers who are alleged to be part of the steroid program are listed in the. On 22 December 2017, it was reported that FIFA fired a doctor who had been investigating in Russian football. 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. 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. Host selection The choice of Russia as host has been challenged. Controversial issues have included the level of racism in Russian football, and discrimination against people in wider Russian society. Russia's involvement in the has also caused calls for the tournament to be moved, particularly following the. Allegations of in the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups caused threats from England's to boycott the tournament. FIFA appointed , a US attorney, to investigate and produce on the corruption allegations. Although the report was never published, FIFA released a 42-page summary of its findings as determined by German judge. Eckert's summary cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing, but was denounced by critics as a whitewash. On 3 June 2015, the confirmed that the federal authorities were investigating the bidding and awarding processes for the 2018 and. Response to Skripal poisoning In response to the March 2018 , British Prime Minister announced that no British ministers or members of the royal family would attend the World Cup, and issued a warning to any travelling England fans. Iceland diplomatically boycotted the World Cup. English football fans who have travelled have said they have received a warm welcome from ordinary citizens after arriving in Russia. Russia received widespread praise as World Cup hosts. Facilities—such as the refurbished pictured —were one aspect of Russia's success. Russia has come across as friendly and hospitable: a stark contrast with the country's authoritarian image. All the foreign fans I have spoken to are pleasantly surprised. A lot of preconceived ideas have been changed because people have seen the true nature of Russia. Main article: FIFA, through several companies, sold the broadcasting rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to various local broadcasters. In the United States, the 2018 World Cup was the first men's World Cup whose English rights were held by , and Spanish rights held by. During a launch event prior to the elimination, Fox stated that it had planned to place a secondary focus on the Mexican team in its coverage to take advantage of their popularity among US viewers factoring. Fox stated that it was still committed to broadcasting a significant amount of coverage for the tournament. In February 2018, Ukrainian rightsholder stated that it would not broadcast the World Cup. This came in the wake of growing boycotts of the tournament among the and sports minister. Additionally, the Football Federation of Ukraine refused to accredit journalists for the World Cup and waived their quota of tickets. However, the Ukrainian state TV still broadcast the World Cup, and more than 4 million Ukrainians watched the opening match. Broadcast rights to the tournament in the Middle East were hampered by an ongoing over. Qatar is the home country of the region's rightsholder,. Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over the matter. On 2 June 2018, beIN pulled its channels from and , but with service to the latter restored later that day. Etisalat subsequently announced that it would air the World Cup in the UAE, and continue to offer beIN normally and without interruptions. In Saudi Arabia, beIN's channels have been widely and illegally repackaged by a broadcaster identifying itself as beoutQ; while FIFA attempted to indirectly negotiate the sale of a package consisting of Saudi matches, as well as the opening and final games, they were unable to do so. Retrieved 16 July 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2010. Archived from on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2008. 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