Football fans from all over the world wait patiently every four years for the biggest tournament in world football, the FIFA World Cup. The last World Cup was held in 2014 in Brazil, which was considered a successful and well-run tournament. Now it's Russia's turn to put on a show for the world, meaning it'll be the first time such a tournament has been hosted in Europe since 2006.
Preparations are almost done and so are the qualification stages, so I thought I'd share a few facts about the upcoming competition and the nation who is hosting it.
- Russia has hosted many big tournaments including the Olympics but this is the first time the FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia.
- The main theme of the tournament are things Russia is famous for, such as, 'The dream and the cosmic outer space exploration, enlivened with folk motives featuring Firebirds, Matryoshkas and folk patterns.'
- The Mascot of the World Cup is the wolf called Zabivaka which was picked by voters on the internet.
- Thirty two teams from all over the world are part of this tournament. There is a specific number of teams for each continent. There are 14 European countries, 5 African countries, 4 Asian countries, 4 South American countries, 3 North American countries and then two spots are left for countries to win in the play-offs.
- Eleven cities will play hosts for the tournament. They are: Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi, Volgograd, Samara, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Yekaterinburg and Saransk.
- Moscow is the centre of the tournament. The first and the last match will be at the Luzhniki Stadium, which resides there.
- The closest city to Moscow is Nizhny Novgorod which is 420km away and the furthest city is Yekaterinburg, which is a rather massive 1790km away.
- Zimbabwe were supposed to compete in the tournament for the first time ever, but they failed to pay severance fee for a coach and FIFA expelled them from the cup.
- Most tourists aren’t allowed to enter Russia without a proper document such as a Visa. During the Championship you won't need a Visa for entering, but you will need other documents.
- Most stadiums in Russia are brand new and they are made with special technology and the highest standards which were a requirement from FIFA, meaning the Russians are well equipped for hosting such a huge event.
There's a few facts regarding the upcoming tournament that I hope you might have found interesting. Here's hoping it's a brilliant World Cup in Russia and the four year wait is worth it!