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Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Image courtesy of tass.com
The electric atmosphere for the biggest match of the year is like nothing else on Earth!
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in 11 carefully selected Russian cities between June 14 and July 15: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi, and Rostov-on-Don.
The competitors in eight different groups of 32 national teams will battle for the ultimate title of World Champion. In the 2014 final, Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in overtime, and the 2018 final is sure to be just as thrilling.
Ticket sales for the World Cup launched on December 5, and 1.3 million requests were submitted in just 24 hours. The Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media proclaimed the unveiling of a registration process for obtaining new Fan-IDs, which will be required to attend matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Fan-ID grants admission to the stadiums but also serves as a visa for foreign visitors to enter the country. It plays a significant part in the establishment of security during the major football tournament in Russia. Holders of the Fan-ID can enter the country without a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global tournaments in addition to a period of ten days before and after both the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup.
On December 12, the first store carrying official FIFA World Cup merchandise opened in Moscow. In an article for TASS, CEO of the Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee Alexy Sorkin says, “We are very pleased to launch this store in a wonderful shopping mall meant for kids. Very soon, we will launch another store in St. Petersburg, there will also be many stores throughout all of the cities. There is a wide range of merchandise available, so all of our customers will have a chance to purchase something. The World Cup is approaching and this is a significant milestone on our way to it”.
One of the largest sports complexes in the world, Luzhniki Stadium is at the center of Moscow’s 145-hectare Olympic Complex. It will be used for the opening match, a semi-final and the Final: making it the main venue and the heart of the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament. According to the official FIFA website, work to rebuild Luzhniki Stadium for the 2018 events began in 2013. One of the most imperative aspects of the project was conserving the historical façade of the stadium, as it has become a true landmark for Moscow.
As cited by the tournament’s press service, FIFA President Gianni Infantino articulates, “We expect a great atmosphere in Russia next summer, the world will discover a country which is open, which is welcoming, which is warm, which loves to party and to enjoy and celebrate football. We are expecting smooth operations”. Infantino also adds that the World Cup will “change the way in which the world is looking at Russia”.
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