Russia will stage the FIFA World Cup final tournament from 14 June–15 July 2018 with the hosts joined by 13 other UEFA members and 18 teams from other continents. Qualifying for the finals runs until late 2017, when the draw will be held on 1 December in Moscow.
This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since 2006; Russia proposed the following host cities: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg, all but one of the stadium venues are in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains to keep travel time manageable. The bid evaluation report stated: The Russian bid proposes 13 host cities and 16 stadiums, thus exceeding FIFA's minimum requirement. Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed.
The final tournament will involve 32 national teams, which include 31 teams determined through qualifying competitions and the automatically qualified host team. A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final will take place on 15 July in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium.
This will be the first World Cup with Iceland and Panama as participants. The winners of the World Cup will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
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