Just over a year after Germany clinched its fourth World Cup crown in Brazil, FIFA have announced the match schedule for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Will Germany be at the final again?
FIFA have announced the match schedule for the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the eve of the qualifying draw in St Petersburg. Kickoff times for the tournament matches will be decicded at a later date.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will begin on Thursday June 14, 2018. Russia, as the host country, are seeded as the A1 team, and will be involved in the opening game of the tournament. The World Cup final will be held on Sunday July 15, 2018.
Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium will host both the tournament opener and the final. Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi, Samara will be the quarterfinal venues while St Petersburg and Moscow will stage the semifinals.
The FIFA organizing committee, headed by UEFA president Michel Platini, also approved the procedures for the preliminary draw and qualifiers in each of the six confederations. The qualifying competition will span 32 months featuring 851 matches, concluding in November 2017.
It was also announced on Friday that the FIFA Confederations Cup – a warm-up competition for the host country to test ahead of the main competition – will be staged from June 17 to July 2, 2017. Eight teams will compete, including defending World Cup winners Germany.
Germany were also announced as one of nine top-seeds in the World Cup qualifying draw, which takes place in St Petersburg on Saturday.
apc/rd (AFP, Reuters)