Football World Cup 2018

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Football World Cup 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Logo Football World Cup 2018.svg
Number of nations 32  (of 211 applicants)
World Champion FranceFrance France (2nd title)
venue RussiaRussia Russia
Opening game June 14, 2018 ( Moscow )
Endgame July 15, 2018 (Moscow)
Games 64
Gates 169  (⌀: 2.64 per game)
spectator 3,031,768  (⌀: 47,371 per game)
Top scorer EnglandEngland Harry Kane (6 goals)
Best player CroatiaCroatia Luka Modrić
Best goalkeeper BelgiumBelgium Thibaut Courtois
Yellow card yellow cards 219  (⌀: 3.42 per game)
Yellow-red card Yellow-red cards (⌀: 0.03 per game)
Red card Red cards (⌀: 0.03 per game)
Penalty kicks 29  (⌀: 0.45 per game)

The final round of the FIFA World Cup 2018 ( Russian Чемпионат мира по футболу 2018 , English 2018 FIFA World Cup ) was the 21st edition of the most important tournament for men's football - national teams and was held in from 14 June to 15 July 2018 Russia held . The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia served as the dress rehearsal .

Became world champion for the second time after 1998 France , which in the final Croatia defeated. With the victory of the French national team, the world title went to a European team for the fourth time in a row. For Croatia, the second place meant the best result so far in a soccer world championship. Host Russia reached the quarter-finals. Defending champions Germany were eliminated after the group stage for the first time in the history of the tournament. The Switzerland was eliminated in the second round; Austria and Liechtenstein had already failed in the qualification .


The Russian delegation (from left to right: Vitaly Mutko , Andrei Arshavin , Igor Shuvalov and Vyacheslav Koloskov ) celebrates the award.
Special edition of the 100 ruble banknote for the World Cup

During its meeting in Tokyo on December 19, 2008, the FIFA Executive Committee decided to award the two World Cups in 2018 and 2022 at the same time. The deadline for member associations to express their interest in hosting ended on February 2, 2009. Eleven applications from 13 countries were received for the two tournaments. In accordance with the rotation procedure modified in 2007, the continental associations in which the two previous World Championships took place ( Africa with South Africa 2010 and South America with Brazil 2014 ) were excluded from the application for the 2018 tournament . Until the award, all non-European applicants for the 2018 World Cup withdrew and concentrated on the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA announced the host of the 2018 World Cup on December 2, 2010 in Zurich . Russia prevailed against the joint applications from Portugal and Spain , Belgium and the Netherlands and the application from England . An absolute majority of twelve votes was required for the election. Until this was achieved, the applicants with the fewest votes were eliminated in each round.

In early April 2020, New York revelations revealed that the votes of several FIFA officials, including Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago and Rafael Salguero from Guatemala, had been bought to vote for Russia.

Applicants 1 round 2nd round comment
RussiaRussia Russia 9 13
PortugalPortugal Portugal and SpainSpainSpain  7th 7th Spain hosted the 1982 World Cup , Portugal the 2004 European Championship .
BelgiumBelgium Belgium and the NetherlandsNetherlandsNetherlands  4th 2 Belgium hosted the 1972 European Championship , and both hosted the 2000 European Championship together .
EnglandEngland England 2 - England hosted the 1966 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship .


On September 29, 2012, the eleven venues and twelve World Cup stadiums were announced as part of a television show with FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko . The cities of Yaroslavl and Krasnodar on the provisional list have been deleted. With the exception of Yekaterinburg, which is almost 40 kilometers east of the imaginary dividing line between Europe and Asia, all of the venues are in the European part of Russia.

The Luzhniki Olympic Stadium in Moscow was the venue for the opening game and the final. For the construction and renovation of stadiums a budget of EUR 3.82 billion was US dollars estimated. In 2010, the then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin put the planned investments in “preparing the stadiums and the surrounding infrastructure” at 7.3 billion euros. Because of the tense economic situation, Russia decided at the beginning of 2015 to save money on stadium construction. As a result, with the approval of FIFA, the number of permanently installed seats in some venues was reduced from 45,000 to 35,000. In June 2015, Russia cut its budget again.

All twelve stadiums were either rebuilt or rebuilt for the World Cup. At the end of April 2018, the Kosmos-Arena in Samara was the last World Cup stadium to receive an operating license, so all venues were ready for use.

Ekaterinburg Kaliningrad Kazan Nizhny Novgorod
Central Stadium Kaliningrad Stadium Kazan Arena Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Capacity: 35,696
Capacity: 35,212
(new construction)
Capacity: 45,105
(new build)
Capacity: 44,899
(new build)
E-burg asv2019-05 img22 Central Stadium.jpg Kaliningrad stadium - 2018-04-07.jpg Kazan Arena 08-2016.jpg Nizhny Novgorod Stadium asv2019-05.jpg

Location of the host cities

Luzhniki Olympic Stadium Spartak Stadium
Capacity: 81,000
Capacity: 45,360
(new construction)
Luzhniki Stadium1.jpg Spartak stadium (Otkrytiye Arena), 23 August 2014.JPG
Rostov on Don Samara
Rostov Arena Cosmos arena
Capacity: 45,000
(new build)
Capacity: 44,918
(new build)
Rostov Arena (2) .jpg Samara Arena.jpg
Saransk Sochi St. Petersburg Volgograd
Mordovia Arena Sochi Olympic Stadium Saint Petersburg Stadium Volgograd Arena
Capacity: 45,015
(new build)
Capacity: 48,000
Capacity: 67,000
(new build)
Capacity: 45,568
(new build)
Mordovia Arena stadium.jpg Sochi eagle aerial view 2018 23.jpg RUS-2016-Aerial-SPB-Krestovsky Stadium 01.jpg Volgograd arena aerial view 1.jpg



  • Qualified
  • Not qualified
  • Not participated
  • Not a FIFA member
  • 32 associations took part in the final tournament of the 2018 World Cup. Host Russia was automatically qualified, the remaining 31 starting places were allocated within the six continental associations through qualifying tournaments . The draw for the qualifying groups took place on July 25, 2015 in Saint Petersburg.

    The places for the final round were allocated as follows:

    • UEFA (Europe): 14 participants including host Russia
    • CONMEBOL (South America): 5 participants
    • CAF (Africa): 5 participants
    • AFC (Asia and Australia): 5 participants
    • CONCACAF (North America, Central America and the Caribbean): 3 participants
    • OFC (Oceania): 0 participants

    Two of the participants were determined in intercontinental play-offs between representatives of the AFC and CONCACAF and between representatives of the OFC and CONMEBOL.


    In addition to the host country Russia, another 31 national teams have qualified for the tournament. The teams from Iceland and Panama took part in the finals of a World Cup for the first time.

    14 UEFA (Europe), including hosts: RussiaRussia Russia BelgiumBelgium Belgium DenmarkDenmark Denmark GermanyGermany Germany EnglandEngland England FranceFrance France IcelandIceland Iceland
    CroatiaCroatia Croatia PolandPoland Poland PortugalPortugal Portugal SwedenSweden Sweden SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland SerbiaSerbia Serbia SpainSpain Spain
    05 CONMEBOL (South America) ArgentinaArgentina Argentina BrazilBrazil Brazil ColombiaColombia Colombia PeruPeru Peru UruguayUruguay Uruguay
    05 CAF (Africa) EgyptEgypt Egypt MoroccoMorocco Morocco NigeriaNigeria Nigeria SenegalSenegal Senegal TunisiaTunisia Tunisia
    03 CONCACAF (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Costa RicaCosta Rica Costa Rica MexicoMexico Mexico PanamaPanama Panama
    05 AFC (Asia) AustraliaAustralia Australia IranIran Iran JapanJapan Japan Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
    00 OFC (Oceania)

    The four-time world champions Italy, the Netherlands and Copa America winner Chile, among others, could not qualify.

    Tournament course

    secure placement of the participating countries

    The further qualification of the final round participants during the course of the tournament is shown in color on the participant world map and is shown in detail in the section final round , according to the course of the meeting.


    The group stage draw for the final round took place on December 1, 2017 in the large concert hall of the Kremlin in Moscow . The heads of the eight groups were hosted by Russia and the seven leaders in the FIFA world rankings from October 16, 2017. They formed pot 1, pots 2 to 4 were not filled according to regional criteria, as in the 2014 World Cup draw, but exclusively according to their world ranking on October 16, 2017. No team from the same confederation of the same group could be drawn in the draw . There was an exception for the European football association UEFA. In the group phase, a maximum of two European teams per group were allowed to meet.

    Pot 1: Russia (65) 1 , Germany (1), Brazil (2), Portugal (3), Argentina (4), Belgium (5), Poland (6), France (7)

    Pot 2: Spain (8), Peru (10), Switzerland (11), England (12), Colombia (13), Mexico (16), Uruguay (17), Croatia (18)

    Pot 3: Denmark (19), Iceland (21), Costa Rica (22), Sweden (25), Tunisia (28), Egypt (30), Senegal (32), Iran (34)

    Pot 4: Serbia (38), Nigeria (41), Australia (43), Japan (44), Morocco (48), Panama (49), South Korea (62), Saudi Arabia (63)

    1 Russia was automatically placed in Group A as hosts.

    Note: The FIFA rank of the respective national team on October 16, 2017 is shown in brackets.

    Group A Group B Group C Group D
    RussiaRussia Russia (70) PortugalPortugal Portugal (4) FranceFrance France (7) ArgentinaArgentina Argentina (5)
    Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia (67) SpainSpain Spain (10) AustraliaAustralia Australia (36) IcelandIceland Iceland (22)
    EgyptEgypt Egypt (45) MoroccoMorocco Morocco (41) PeruPeru Peru (11) CroatiaCroatia Croatia (20)
    UruguayUruguay Uruguay (14) IranIran Iran (37) DenmarkDenmark Denmark (12) NigeriaNigeria Nigeria (48)
    Group E Group F. Group G Group H.
    BrazilBrazil Brazil (2) GermanyGermany Germany (1) BelgiumBelgium Belgium (3) PolandPoland Poland (8)
    SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland (6) MexicoMexico Mexico (15) PanamaPanama Panama (55) SenegalSenegal Senegal (27)
    Costa RicaCosta Rica Costa Rica (23) SwedenSweden Sweden (24) TunisiaTunisia Tunisia (21) ColombiaColombia Colombia (16)
    SerbiaSerbia Serbia (34) Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea (57) EnglandEngland England (12) JapanJapan Japan (61)

    Information on the individual World Cup groups and teams by clicking on the respective link.

    Note: Position in the FIFA World Ranking before the tournament in brackets.

    Rulebook and mode

    In the group stage there were eight groups with four participants each. Within the groups, each team played against each other. The winner of each match received three points, the loser none, and in the event of a tie, each received one point.

    The order in each group was determined as follows:

    a) Number of points from all group matches

    b) Goal difference from all group matches

    c) Number of goals scored in all group matches

    If two or more teams score tied on the three criteria mentioned, their placement has been determined according to the following criteria:

    d) Number of points from the direct encounters of the teams with the same points in the group games

    e) Goal difference from the direct encounters of the teams with the same points in the group matches

    f) Number of goals scored in group matches between teams with the same number of points

    g) Fair play rating, based on the number of yellow and red cards in all group games with the following deductions:

    • yellow card: minus 1 point
    • yellow-red card: minus 3 points
    • red card: minus 4 points
    • yellow and red cards: minus 5 points

    Only one of the above deductions was possible for a player per game.

    h) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organizing Committee

    In the course of the tournament, at the request of the German Press Agency, FIFA specified the wording of its regulations regarding group placements using an example to the effect that if one team could be clearly positioned and the others in the so-called direct comparison (points d - f) Both teams were still tied, instead of iteratively applying the placement rules again, the fair play scoring (point g) is taken directly .

    Group stage

    Winners of a match and the teams in the group tables that have reached the round of 16 are shown in bold.
    In the table, the places that make it possible to reach the round of 16 are highlighted in green.

    Group A

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. UruguayUruguay Uruguay  3  3  0  0 005-000  +5 09
     2. RussiaRussia Russia  3  2  0  1 008: 400  +4 06th
     3. Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia  3  1  0  2 002: 700  −5 03
     4th EgyptEgypt Egypt  3  0  0  3 002: 600  −4 00
    Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow ( Luzhniki Olympic Stadium )
    Russia - Saudi Arabia 5: 0 (2: 0)
    Fri., June 15, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Yekaterinburg ( Central Stadium )
    Egypt - Uruguay 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Tue., June 19, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg ( Saint Petersburg Stadium )
    Russia - Egypt 3: 1 (0: 0)
    Wed., June 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Rostov-on-Don ( Rostov-Arena )
    Uruguay - Saudi Arabia 1: 0 (1: 0)
    Mon., June 25, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Samara ( Kosmos-Arena )
    Uruguay - Russia 3: 0 (2: 0)
    Mon., June 25, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Volgograd ( Volgograd Arena )
    Saudi Arabia - Egypt 2: 1 (1: 1)

    Group B

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. SpainSpain Spain  3  1  2  0 006: 500  +1 05
     2. PortugalPortugal Portugal  3  1  2  0 005: 400  +1 05
     3. IranIran Iran  3  1  1  1 002: 200  ± 0 04th
     4th MoroccoMorocco Morocco  3  0  1  2 002: 400  −2 01
    Friday, June 15, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg
    Morocco - Iran 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Fri., June 15, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Sochi ( Sochi Olympic Stadium )
    Portugal - Spain 3: 3 (2: 1)
    Wed., June 20, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow (Luschniki Olympic Stadium)
    Portugal - Morocco 1: 0 (1: 0)
    Wed., June 20, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Kazan ( Kazan Arena )
    Iran - Spain 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Mon., June 25, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Saransk ( Mordovia Arena )
    Iran - Portugal 1: 1 (0: 1)
    Mon., June 25, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Kaliningrad ( Kaliningrad Stadium )
    Spain - Morocco 2: 2 (1: 1)

    Group C

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. FranceFrance France  3  2  1  0 003: 100  +2 07th
     2. DenmarkDenmark Denmark  3  1  2  0 002: 100  +1 05
     3. PeruPeru Peru  3  1  0  2 002: 200  ± 0 03
     4th AustraliaAustralia Australia  3  0  1  2 002: 500  −3 01
    Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. (12:00 p.m. CEST) in Kazan
    France - Australia 2: 1 (0: 0)
    Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. CEST) in Saransk
    Peru - Denmark 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Samara
    Denmark - Australia 1: 1 (1: 1)
    Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Yekaterinburg
    France - Peru 1: 0 (1: 0)
    Tue., June 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow (Luschniki Olympic Stadium)
    Denmark - France 0-0
    Tue., June 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Sochi
    Australia - Peru 0: 2 (0: 1)

    Group D

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. CroatiaCroatia Croatia  3  3  0  0 007: 100  +6 09
     2. ArgentinaArgentina Argentina  3  1  1  1 003: 500  −2 04th
     3. NigeriaNigeria Nigeria  3  1  0  2 003: 400  −1 03
     4th IcelandIceland Iceland  3  0  1  2 002: 500  −3 01
    Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow ( Spartak Stadium )
    Argentina - Iceland 1: 1 (1: 1)
    Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. CEST) in Kaliningrad
    Croatia - Nigeria 2: 0 (1: 0)
    Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Nizhny Novgorod ( Nizhny Novgorod Stadium )
    Argentina - Croatia 0: 3 (0: 0)
    Friday, June 22, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Volgograd
    Nigeria - Iceland 2: 0 (0: 0)
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg
    Nigeria - Argentina 1: 2 (0: 1)
    Tue., June 26, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Rostov-on-Don
    Iceland - Croatia 1: 2 (0: 0)

    Group E

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. BrazilBrazil Brazil  3  2  1  0 005: 100  +4 07th
     2. SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland  3  1  2  0 005: 400  +1 05
     3. SerbiaSerbia Serbia  3  1  0  2 002: 400  −2 03
     4th Costa RicaCosta Rica Costa Rica  3  0  1  2 002: 500  −3 01
    Sun., June 17, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Samara
    Costa Rica - Serbia 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Sun., June 17, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Rostov-on-Don
    Brazil - Switzerland 1: 1 (1: 0)
    Fri., June 22, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg
    Brazil - Costa Rica 2: 0 (0: 0)
    Friday, June 22, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Kaliningrad
    Serbia - Switzerland 1: 2 (1: 0)
    Wed., June 27, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow (Spartak Stadium)
    Serbia - Brazil 0: 2 (0: 1)
    Wed., June 27, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Nizhny Novgorod
    Switzerland - Costa Rica 2: 2 (1: 0)

    Group F.

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. SwedenSweden Sweden  3  2  0  1 005: 200  +3 06th
     2. MexicoMexico Mexico  3  2  0  1 003: 400  −1 06th
     3. Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea  3  1  0  2 003: 300  ± 0 03
     4th GermanyGermany Germany  3  1  0  2 002: 400  −2 03
    Sun., June 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow (Luschniki Olympic Stadium)
    Germany - Mexico 0: 1 (0: 1)
    Mon., June 18, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Nizhny Novgorod
    Sweden - South Korea 1: 0 (0: 0)
    Sat., June 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Rostov-on-Don
    South Korea - Mexico 1: 2 (0: 1)
    Sat., June 23, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Sochi
    Germany - Sweden 2: 1 (0: 1)
    Wed., June 27, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Kazan
    South Korea - Germany 2: 0 (0: 0)
    Wed., June 27, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Yekaterinburg
    Mexico - Sweden 0: 3 (0: 0)

    Group G

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. BelgiumBelgium Belgium  3  3  0  0 009: 200  +7 09
     2. EnglandEngland England  3  2  0  1 008: 300  +5 06th
     3. TunisiaTunisia Tunisia  3  1  0  2 005: 800  −3 03
     4th PanamaPanama Panama  3  0  0  3 002:110  −9 00
    Mon., June 18, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Sochi
    Belgium - Panama 3: 0 (0: 0)
    Mon., June 18, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Volgograd
    Tunisia - England 1: 2 (1: 1)
    Sat., June 23, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow (Spartak Stadium)
    Belgium - Tunisia 5: 2 (3: 1)
    Sun., June 24, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Nizhny Novgorod
    England - Panama 6: 1 (5: 0)
    Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Kaliningrad
    England - Belgium 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Saransk
    Panama - Tunisia 1: 2 (1: 0)

    Group H.

    Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
     1. ColombiaColombia Colombia  3  2  0  1 005: 200  +3 06th
     2. JapanJapan Japan  3  1  1  1 004: 400  ± 0 04th
     3. SenegalSenegal Senegal  3  1  1  1 004: 400  ± 0 04th
     4th PolandPoland Poland  3  1  0  2 002: 500  −3 03
    Note: Japan with four yellow cards and Senegal with six yellow cards
    (fair play rating)
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. CEST) in Saransk
    Colombia - Japan 1: 2 (1: 1)
    Tue., June 19, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow (Spartak Stadium)
    Poland - Senegal 1: 2 (0: 1)
    Sun., June 24, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Yekaterinburg
    Japan - Senegal 2: 2 (1: 1)
    Sun., June 24, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Kazan
    Poland - Colombia 0: 3 (0: 1)
    Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Volgograd
    Japan - Poland 0: 1 (0: 0)
    Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Samara
    Senegal - Colombia 0: 1 (0: 0)

    Final round


    Round of 16 Quarter finals Semifinals final
     A1: UruguayUruguayUruguay  2
     B2: PortugalPortugalPortugal  1  
     UruguayUruguay Uruguay 0
       FranceFrance France 2  
     C1: FranceFranceFrance  4th
     D2: ArgentinaArgentinaArgentina  3  
     FranceFrance France 1
       BelgiumBelgium Belgium 0  
     E1: BrazilBrazilBrazil  2
     Q2: MexicoMexicoMexico  0  
     BrazilBrazil Brazil 1
       BelgiumBelgium Belgium 2  
     G1: BelgiumBelgiumBelgium  3
     H2: JapanJapanJapan  2  
     FranceFrance France 4th
       CroatiaCroatia Croatia 2
     B1: SpainSpainSpain  1 (3)
     A2: RussiaRussiaRussia  11 (4) E.  
     RussiaRussia Russia 2 (3)
       CroatiaCroatia Croatia 12 (4) E.  
     D1: CroatiaCroatiaCroatia  11 (3) E.
     C2: DenmarkDenmarkDenmark  1 (2)  
     CroatiaCroatia Croatia 12 V
       EnglandEngland England 1   3rd place match
     F1: SwedenSwedenSweden  1
     E2: SwitzerlandSwitzerlandSwitzerland  0  
     SwedenSweden Sweden 0  BelgiumBelgium Belgium 2
       EnglandEngland England 2    EnglandEngland England 0
     H1: ColombiaColombiaColombia  1 (3)
     G2: EnglandEnglandEngland  11 (4) E.  

    V win after extra time
    E win on penalties

    Round of 16

    Sat., June 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Kazan ( Kazan Arena )
    FranceFrance France - ArgentinaArgentina Argentina 4: 3 (1: 1)
    Sat., June 30, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Sochi ( Sochi Olympic Stadium )
    UruguayUruguay Uruguay - PortugalPortugal Portugal 2: 1 (1: 0)
    Sun., July 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow ( Luschniki Olympic Stadium )
    SpainSpain Spain - RussiaRussia Russia 1: 1 n.V. (1: 1, 1: 1), 3: 4 in E.
    Sun., July 1, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Nizhny Novgorod ( Nizhny Novgorod Stadium )
    CroatiaCroatia Croatia - DenmarkDenmark Denmark 1: 1 n.V. (1: 1, 1: 1), 3: 2 i. E.
    Mon., July 2, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Samara ( Kosmos-Arena )
    BrazilBrazil Brazil - MexicoMexico Mexico 2: 0 (0: 0)
    Mon., July 2, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Rostov-on-Don ( Rostov-Arena )
    BelgiumBelgium Belgium - JapanJapan Japan 3: 2 (0: 0)
    Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg ( Saint Petersburg Stadium )
    SwedenSweden Sweden - SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 1: 0 (0: 0)
    Tue., July 3, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow ( Spartak Stadium )
    ColombiaColombia Colombia - EnglandEngland England 1: 1 n.V. (1: 1, 0: 0), 3: 4 i. E.

    Quarter finals

    Fri., July 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Nizhny Novgorod ( Nizhny Novgorod Stadium )
    UruguayUruguay Uruguay - FranceFrance France 0: 2 (0: 1)
    Fri., July 6, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Kazan ( Kazan Arena )
    BrazilBrazil Brazil - BelgiumBelgium Belgium 1: 2 (0: 2)
    Sat., July 7, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Samara ( Kosmos-Arena )
    SwedenSweden Sweden - EnglandEngland England 0: 2 (0: 1)
    Sat., July 7, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Sochi ( Sochi Olympic Stadium )
    RussiaRussia Russia - CroatiaCroatia Croatia 2: 2 n.V. (1: 1, 1: 1), 3: 4 i. E.


    Tue., July 10, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg ( Saint Petersburg Stadium )
    FranceFrance France - BelgiumBelgium Belgium 1: 0 (0: 0)
    Wed., July 11, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow ( Luschniki Olympic Stadium )
    CroatiaCroatia Croatia - EnglandEngland England 2: 1 n.V. (1: 1, 0: 1)

    3rd place match

    Saturday, July 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. CEST) in Saint Petersburg ( Saint Petersburg Stadium )
    BelgiumBelgium Belgium - EnglandEngland England 2: 0 (1: 0)


    France Croatia Lineup
    Sun., July 15, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. CEST) in Moscow ( Luzhniki Olympic Stadium )
    Result: 4: 2 (2: 1)
    Spectators: 78,011
    Referee: Néstor Pitana ( Argentina ) 1ArgentinaArgentina 
    Match report
    Line up France against Croatia
    Hugo Lloris - Benjamin Pavard , Raphaël Varane , Samuel Umtiti , Lucas Hernández - Paul Pogba , N'Golo Kanté (55th Steven Nzonzi ) - Kylian Mbappé , Antoine Griezmann , Blaise Matuidi (73rd Corentin Tolisso ) - Olivier Giroud (81st Nabil Fekir ) Coach: Didier Deschamps(C)Captain of the crew
    Danijel Subašić - Šime Vrsaljko , Dejan Lovren , Domagoj Vida , Ivan Strinić (82nd Marko Pjaca ) - Ivan Rakitić , Marcelo Brozović - Ante Rebić (71st Andrej Kramarić ), Luka Modrić , Ivan Perišić - Mario Mandžukić Coach: Zlatko Dalić(C)Captain of the crew
    Own goal1: 0 Mandžukić (18th, own goal)

    goal2: 1 Griezmann (38th, penalty)
    goal3: 1 Pogba (59th)
    goal4: 1 Mbappé (65th)

    goal1: 1 Perišić (28th)

    goal4: 2 Mandžukić (69th)
    yellow cards Kanté (27.), Hernández (41.) yellow cards Vrsaljko (90th + 2 ′)
    Player of the Match: Antoine Griezmann (France)
    1Assistants: Hernán Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti , fourth official: Björn Kuipers video assistants: Massimiliano Irrati (VAR), Mauro Vigliano (AVAR1), Carlos Astroza (AVAR2), Danny Makkelie (AVAR3)ArgentinaArgentina NetherlandsNetherlands 
    ItalyItaly ArgentinaArgentina ChileChile NetherlandsNetherlands 
    The French national team before the final against Croatia

    Best goal scorers

    For the full list see scorer 2018 FIFA World Cup / Statistics # goal scorers .

    The order of the individual players is based on the FIFA criteria for the “Golden Shoe” , according to which the number of assists and the minutes of play are decisive for determining the top scorer with the same number of goals. At the World Cup, the following goal scorers had scored at least three goals or played for Germany or Switzerland:

    “Golden Shoe” winner:
    Harry Kane
    Winner of the “Silver Shoe”:
    Antoine Griezmann
    Winner of the “Bronze Shoe”:
    Romelu Lukaku
    rank player Gates templates Playtime
    01 EnglandEngland Harry Kane
    "Golden Shoe"
    6th 0 573
    02 FranceFrance Antoine Griezmann
    "Silver Shoe"
    4th 2 570
    03 BelgiumBelgium Romelu Lukaku
    "Bronze Shoe"
    4th 1 476
    04th RussiaRussia Denis Cheryshev 4th 0 304
    05 PortugalPortugal Cristiano Ronaldo 4th 0 360
    06th FranceFrance Kylian Mbappé 4th 0 534
    07th RussiaRussia Artyom Djuba 3 2 333
    08th BelgiumBelgium Eden Hazard 3 2 518
    09 CroatiaCroatia Mario Mandžukić 3 1 608
    10 CroatiaCroatia Ivan Perišić 3 1 632
    11 ColombiaColombia Yerry Mina 3 0 300
    12 SpainSpain Diego Costa 3 0 320
    13 UruguayUruguay Edinson Cavani 3 0 343
    35 GermanyGermany Marco Reus 1 1 210
    46 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Xherdan Shaqiri 1 1 351
    61 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Josip Drmić 1 0 112
    74 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Steven Zuber 1 0 252
    80 GermanyGermany Toni Kroos 1 0 270
    92 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Blerim Džemaili 1 0 326
    95 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Granite Xhaka 1 0 360

    In addition to these scorers, there are 13 more with two goals each and 77 more with one goal each and twelve own goals .


    Luka Modrić at the award ceremony for the best player of the 2018 World Cup. Vladimir Putin presents him with the award, the Golden Ball .
    Kylian Mbappé at the award ceremony for the best young player of the 2018 World Cup. Emmanuel Macron presents him with the award.

    Golden ball

    Luka Modrić was voted the best player in the World Cup finals by the FIFA “technical study group” and received the Golden Ball , followed by Eden Hazard (Silver Ball) and Antoine Griezmann (Bronze Ball) .

    Golden glove

    Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was voted the tournament's best goalkeeper by FIFA.

    Fair play trophy

    The Spanish team was awarded the fair play trophy by FIFA.

    Best young player

    French player Kylian Mbappé was named the best young player of the tournament by FIFA.

    Goal of the tournament

    The goal of the French Benjamin Pavard in the round of 16 against Argentina was chosen as the goal of the tournament.

    Dream team

    The so-called “Dream Team” was determined in an internet vote on the FIFA website . Here reached Luka Modrić most votes with 50.5%.

    goalkeeper Defense midfield striker

    BelgiumBelgium Thibaut Courtois

    FranceFrance Raphaël Varane Thiago Silva Diego Godín Marcelo

    CroatiaCroatia Luka Modrić Philippe Coutinho Kevin De Bruyne

    FranceFrance Kylian Mbappé Harry Kane Cristiano Ronaldo

    Video evidence

    On March 16, 2018, FIFA decided that video evidence would be used for the first time at the World Cup in Russia . In the event of controversial scenes - limited to goals, penalties, red cards and mistaken players - the referee can consult the video assistant via radio and, if necessary, also view video recordings on a monitor on the edge of the field before a final decision is made. In April 2018, FIFA announced that all available television cameras and two additional offside cameras would be available to video assistants. At all World Cup matches, the video assistants sit in a Moscow studio (the so-called "Video Operations Room") and will maintain radio contact there with the referees in the stadiums. The audience should be able to hear the communication between the video assistant and the referee when an incident needs to be investigated. As soon as the referee has made a decision, a graphic (“Goal Given”, “Goal Disallowed”, “Penalty Given”, “Penalty Not Given”, “Red Card Given”, “Red Card Not Given”) should appear on the stadium and television screens. or “Mistaken Identity”) and the repetitions of the scene can be seen. In addition, the audience should be informed about the reasons for the decision.

    A video assistant team (VAR team) is deployed per game. In addition to the video assistant (VAR), this consists of three further assistant referees (AVAR1, AVAR2 and AVAR3). The video assistant leads the VAR team, follows the game, reviews the incidents from all suitable camera angles and communicates with the referee in the stadium. The assistant AVAR1 follows the game and supports the video assistant during an incident by observing the live events during a review and informing the video assistant about it. The AVAR2 assistant is only responsible for evaluating offside situations. The assistant AVAR3 is the liaison between the video assistant and AVAR2 and forwards the information. He also supports the video assistant in assessing an incident and observes the television images.

    The VAR team is supported by four technical assistants, the so-called operators. They select the best camera angles for the VAR team. On April 30, 2018, FIFA nominated 13 referees who will be used exclusively as video assistants. Here, Bastian Dankert and Felix Zwayer been nominated from a German-speaking country. In addition, some referees and assistant referees, who were nominated for the World Cup at the end of March 2018 and are used in the stadium, will also be used as video assistants.

    The technical director of the video operations room is Johannes Holzmüller from Germany , responsible for technical innovations at FIFA.

    The referees have received instructions from FIFA as to when "they can accept information from the video assistant without further examination and in which situations video recordings must be viewed on the edge of the field before they make a decision":

    Check on the edge of the field
    (for interpretation)
    Information from the video assistant
    (for factual decisions)
    • Foul by an attacking player
    • Disability in offside positions
    • Offside position in front of a goal
    • Ball out of play in front of a goal
    Penalty decisions
    • Offenses resulting in a penalty kick
    • Foul by an attacking player
    • Foul inside or outside the penalty area
    • Ball out of play before a penalty is awarded
    • Offside position before a penalty decision
    • All field reference-related incidents
    • All cases of mistaken players

    After the end of the group stage, FIFA drew its first interim conclusion, according to which 99.3% of the 335 VAR reviews would have led to a correct decision due to video evidence; without video evidence this rate would have been 95%.


    Main referee

    On March 29, 2018, FIFA nominated 36  referees plus 63  assistant referees . As in 2014, Felix Brych was the only referee from a German-speaking country. Mark Borsch and Stefan Lupp again accompanied him as assistants .

    The referee Fahad Al-Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia) was suspended for life at the end of May 2018 for demanding a bribe from the Ittihad president before the final of the Saudi Arabian King Cup between Ittihad FC and Al-Faisaly FC . His assistant referees Mohammed Al-Abakry and Abdulah Al-Shalwai were also withdrawn from the tournament. No new referee was nominated. The FIFA Referees Committee instead nominated two assistant referees to complete the referee team of Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Mohammed (United Arab Emirates) and Ryūji Satō (Japan): Hasan Almahri (United Arab Emirates) and Hiroshi Yamauchi (Japan).

    On June 7, 2018, it became known that the Kenyan assistant referee Marwa Range was also involved in allegations of bribery. He is said to have accepted a gift of around US $ 600 while the BBC journalist Anas Anas was filming this. He was then removed from the list of linesmen without an official statement from FIFA. The participation of his other team, consisting of the Gambian referee Bakary Gassama and the Burundian assistant Jean-Claude Birumushahu , was discussed afterwards. The work of the journalists led to the resignation of CAF Vice President Kwesi Nyantakyi due to corruption and the suspension of rank and 21 other African referees at the beginning of July 2018.

    Association referee country Assistant 1 Assistant 2 Games Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg Red card.svg Games

    than 4O


    as VAR

    AFC Fahad Al-Mirdasi 1 Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Mohammed Al-Abakry 1 Abdulah Alshalwai 1 - - - - - -
    Alireza Faghani IranIran Iran Mohammadreza Mansouri Reza Sokhandan 4th 18th 0 0 1 0
    Ravshan Ermatov 3 UzbekistanUzbekistan Uzbekistan Abdukhamidullo Rasulov Jahongir Saidov 2 13 0 0 0 0
    Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Mohammed United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates Mohamed Alhammadi Hasan Almahri 1 4th 0 0 3 0
    Ryūji Satō JapanJapan Japan Toru Sagara Hiroshi Yamauchi 0 0 0 0 4th 0
    Nawaf Shukralla BahrainBahrain Bahrain Yaser Tulefat QatarQatar Taleb Al-Marri 2 9 0 0 2 0
    CAF Mehdi Abid Charef AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria Abdelhak Etchiali 5 0 0 0 0 4th 0
    Malang Diedhiou SenegalSenegal Senegal Djibril Camara El Hadji Samba 3 7th 1 0 1 0
    Bakary Gassama GambiaGambia Gambia BurundiBurundi Jean-Claude Birumushahu KenyaKenya Marwa Range 2 1 3 0 0 1 0
    Ghead Grisha EgyptEgypt Egypt MoroccoMorocco Redouane Achik SudanSudan Waleed Ahmed 1 4th 0 0 0 0
    Janny Sikazwe ZambiaZambia Zambia AngolaAngola Jerson Dos Santos South AfricaSouth Africa Zakhele Siwela 2 9 0 0 2 0
    Bamlak Weyesa EthiopiaEthiopia Ethiopia TunisiaTunisia Anouar Hmila 0 0 0 0 4th 0
    CONCACAF Joel Aguilar El SalvadorEl Salvador El Salvador Juan Zumba 7 1 3 0 0 0 0
    Mark Geiger United StatesUnited States United States Frank Anderson CanadaCanada Joe Fletcher 3 14th 0 0 0 8th
    Jair Marrufo United StatesUnited States United States Corey Rockwell 1 1 0 0 3 5
    Ricardo Montero Costa RicaCosta Rica Costa Rica Juan Mora 6 0 0 0 0 4th 0
    John Pitti PanamaPanama Panama Gabriel Victoria 0 0 0 0 4th 0
    César Ramos MexicoMexico Mexico Miguel Hernández Marvin Torrentera 3 7th 0 0 1 0
    CONMEBOL Julio Bascuñán ChileChile Chile Carlos Astroza Christian Schiemann 0 0 0 0 5 0
    Enrique Cáceres ParaguayParaguay Paraguay Eduardo Cardozo Juan Zorrilla 2 8th 0 0 1 0
    Andrés Cunha 8 UruguayUruguay Uruguay Mauricio Espinosa Nicolas Taran 3 11 0 0 2 0
    Néstor Pitana 4 ArgentinaArgentina Argentina Hernán Maidana Juan Pablo Belatti 5 15th 0 0 0 0
    Sandro Ricci BrazilBrazil Brazil Emerson de Carvalho Marcelo van Gasse 3 9 0 0 1 2
    Wilmar Roldán ColombiaColombia Colombia Cristian de la Cruz Alexander Guzman 2 3 0 0 1 0
    OFC Matthew Conger New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand Simon Lount TongaTonga Tevita Makasini 1 1 0 0 1 0
    Norbert Hauata TahitiTahiti Tahiti New CaledoniaNew Caledonia Bertrand Brial 0 0 0 0 4th 0
    UEFA Felix Brych GermanyGermany Germany Stefan Lupp Mark Borsch 1 5 0 0 0 0
    Cüneyt Çakır 8 TurkeyTurkey Turkey Bahattin Duran Tarık Ongun 3 12 0 0 1 0
    Sergei Karasev RussiaRussia Russia Anton Averianov Tikhon Kalugin 1 6th 0 0 2 0
    Bjorn Kuipers NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Sander van Roekel Erwin Zeinstra 4th 11 0 0 3 0
    Milorad Mažić SerbiaSerbia Serbia Milovan Ristić Dalibor Đurđević 3 10 0 0 1 0
    Szymon Marciniak PolandPoland Poland Tomasz Listkiewicz Paweł Sokolnicki 2 2 1 0 0 4th
    Gianluca Rocchi ItalyItaly Italy Elenito Di Liberatore Mauro Tonolini 3 13 0 0 1 3
    Antonio Mateu Lahoz SpainSpain Spain Pau Cebrián Devís Roberto Díaz Pérez 2 7th 0 0 3 0
    Damir Skomina SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia Jure Praprotnik Robert Vukan 3 8th 0 2 1 0
    Clement Turpin FranceFrance France Nicolas Danos Cyril Gringore 2 6th 0 0 1 6th
    1 shortly before the start of the World Cup, suspended for life for corruption
    2 shortly before the start of the World Cup because of corruption from the referee list
    3 Record referee with nine hosted World Cup games (before the 2018 World Cup: five at the 2010 World Cup, four at the 2014 World Cup)
    4th directed the opening game as well as the final
    5 was appointed Bakary Gassama's second assistant due to the Marwa Range ban
    6th was used as the second assistant to Joel Aguilar
    7th was used as Jair Marrufo's second assistant
    8th ushered in a semi-final

    Video Assistant (VAR)

    On April 30th, FIFA nominated 13 referees who were used exclusively as video assistants . In addition, some referees and assistant referees who were used in the stadium were also used as video assistants (referees see table above, assistant referees marked with ‡ in this table).

    Association referee country Games Remarks
    AFC Abdulrahman Al-Jassim QatarQatar Qatar 3 2 missions as 4th official
    Taleb Al-Marri QatarQatar Qatar 2
    CONCACAF Joe Fletcher CanadaCanada Canada 6th 3rd place match
    Corey Rockwell United StatesUnited States United States 2
    CONMEBOL Carlos Astroza ChileChile Chile 18th Opening game and final
    Emerson de Carvalho BrazilBrazil Brazil 1
    Alexander Guzman ColombiaColombia Colombia 1
    Hernán Maidana ArgentinaArgentina Argentina 4th
    Gery Vargas BoliviaBolivia Bolivia 8th
    Mauro Vigliano ArgentinaArgentina Argentina 15th Opening game and final
    Wilton Sampaio BrazilBrazil Brazil 8th
    OFC Simon Lount New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand 1
    UEFA Mark Borsch GermanyGermany Germany 8th
    Bastian Dankert GermanyGermany Germany 17th 3rd place match
    Artur Dias Soares PortugalPortugal Portugal 8th
    Roberto Díaz Pérez SpainSpain Spain 6th
    Elenito Di Liberatore ItalyItaly Italy 3
    Paweł Gil PolandPoland Poland 16
    Cyril Gringore FranceFrance France 4th
    Massimiliano Irrati ItalyItaly Italy 17th Opening game and final
    Tiago Bruno Lopes Martins PortugalPortugal Portugal 9
    Danny Makkelie NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 18th final
    Daniele Orsato ItalyItaly Italy 15th Opening game
    Paweł Sokolnicki PolandPoland Poland 3
    Paolo Valeri ItalyItaly Italy 14th 3rd place match
    Sander van Roekel NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 3
    Felix Zwayer GermanyGermany Germany 16

    Prize money

    The FIFA World Association is distributing US $ 400 million in prize money (2002 comparison: US $ 134 million) and US $ 48 million in preparation money to the participating associations. The grading of the prize money is broken down in the table. In addition, a further US $ 209 million will be awarded through the Club Benefits Program. This money is given to the clubs of the players participating in the tournament.

    Prize money
    Preparation money $ 1.5 million each
    Eliminated after the group stage $ 8 million
    Elimination in the round of 16 $ 12 million
    Eliminated in the quarterfinals $ 16 million
    Fourth $ 22 million
    Third $ 24 million
    Vice world champion $ 28 million
    World Champion $ 38 million
    Σ max. $ 448 million

    Fines for misconduct

    Mexican fans
    • The Mexican Football Association had to pay a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs for homophobic calls from the Mexican fan block, which were directed against the German goalkeeper Neuer .
    • The Serbian Football Association was fined the same amount for Serbian fans showing an insulting political poster from World War II during the game against Costa Rica .
    • The Polish Football Association was fined the same amount for an insulting poster that its fans displayed in the stadium during the game against Senegal .
    • The two Swiss players Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka were fined 10,000 Swiss francs each and Stephan Lichtsteiner 5000 Swiss francs for a provocative gesture when celebrating the goal ( Albanian eagle ) for misconduct in the game between Switzerland and Serbia . Serbia was also fined 54,000 Swiss francs for Serbian fans again showing discriminatory posters and throwing objects. Coach Mladen Krstajić was fined 5000 Swiss francs - he had asked for the German referee Brych to be brought before the UN tribunal in The Hague .
    • The two German officials Georg Behlau and Uli Voigt were each sentenced to a 5,000 Swiss franc fine for unsportsmanlike conduct during the final jubilation after Germany's victory in the group game against Sweden .
    • The English federation was fined 70,000 Swiss francs for wearing socks with unapproved logos before the game against Sweden.
    • Uruguay was fined 50,000 francs for a player wearing unapproved socks and the team arriving late at the stadium before the game against France.
    • The Croatian Association was fined 70,000 francs for consuming unauthorized drinks before the penalty shootout against Denmark.

    Organization and environment

    Infrastructure and costs

    Before the tournament began, the main focus was on improving the infrastructure . According to the World Cup organizer, around 265 billion rubles have been invested in the sports infrastructure - in the renovation and construction of the stadiums and training grounds. 228 billion rubles were invested in the transport infrastructure and a further 74 billion rubles in the renovation and construction of residential complexes and medical infrastructures as well as the power supply system. In addition, there are another 116 billion rubles in running costs. According to the preliminary report, a total of 683 billion rubles were spent by the state on the preparation and implementation of the 2018 World Cup. In addition, there would be several billion rubles from private investors (e.g. the stadiums in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and hotels in the host cities).

    Broadcast and reporting


    The FIFA Host Broadcasting Production Department organized the provision of the standard broadcast signals from the broadcasting center in Moscow for the world association. For the fifth time, the company Host Broadcast Services (HBS) , which belongs to the Swiss Infront Sports & Media sports rights agency, produced the television images of the World Cup in accordance with FIFA guidelines. HBS was also responsible for the production of the radio signal and for other transmission services and facilities. However, FIFA sold the broadcast rights directly, in the form of packages that were purchased by television broadcasters and consortia worldwide.

    For the first time, 4K or UHD cameras were used for live production at a soccer World Cup . 37 cameras were used for each game, 8 of them with UHD / HDR and 1080p / SDR dual output and a further 8 with 1080p / HDR and 1080p / SDR dual output. In addition, the games were made available in virtual reality or for virtual reality glasses and as 360-degree videos.


    In Germany, ARD and ZDF broadcast the World Cup, each with different games. According to Spiegel reports, they paid EUR 218 million for the broadcasting rights . The broadcasters themselves did not provide any information on the amount of expenditure. ARD and ZDF showed all World Cup games live on public television. Of the last games of the group stage, which took place at the same time, the main channels broadcast the more important game from both games, the parallel game was shown on One and ZDFinfo . ARD and ZDF also broadcast the press conferences and training units live in the live stream and on social networks. The broadcasters of the ARD broadcast all games live on the radio - including reports, interviews and follow-up reports.

    The first broadcast the opening game between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, while ZDF broadcast the final. The knockout games were distributed at short notice. As was the case with the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup , both broadcasters had a joint studio in the SWR Baden-Baden studios , each with a different design.

    Two presenters reported for ARD: Alexander Bommes and Matthias Opdenhövel alternating with experts Thomas Hitzlsperger , Stefan Kuntz and Hannes Wolf . In addition, Philipp Lahm  - together with presenter Jessy Wellmer  - from Tegernsee gave insights into the tournament life of a German national player. The evening in the first was concluded by Micky Beisenherz and Jörg Thadeusz , who moderated the program "WM-Kwartira" from the Hamburg Reeperbahn . Oliver Welke reported as a presenter for ZDF and was supported by Oliver Kahn as an expert , as was the case with the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship . In addition, the preliminary round matches were accompanied by moderator Jochen Breyer . Sebastian Kehl was scheduled to be at his side as an expert, who had already presented the ZDF broadcasts of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with Breyer . On April 23, Kehl ended his engagement with ZDF, as he had taken over the newly created position of head of the licensed player department at Borussia Dortmund on June 1, 2018 . ZDF was looking for an adequate replacement and announced at the end of May 2018 that Christoph Kramer had been hired as an expert to analyze the World Cup games together with Breyer. Holger Stanislawski and the former Swiss referee Urs Meier acted as further experts . On each match day, a studio guest was also present at ZDF, often with a direct link to the broadcast game. In addition, Gerhard Delling (ARD) and Katrin Müller-Hohenstein (ZDF) reported from the German team camp.

    Tom Bartels , Gerd Gottlob and Steffen Simon commented on the majority of the games for ARD . Florian Naß and Stephan Schiffner commented on two games each and one game by Eik Galley . Julia Scharf and Ralf Scholt reported from the stadiums on the sideline  - as an expert, Kevin Kurányi stood by the side at some games. Claudia Neumann , Béla Réthy , Oliver Schmidt , Martin Schneider and Thomas Wark from the stadiums commented on site for ZDF , while Alexander Ruda , Katja Streso and Sven Voss reported on the sidelines . Alexander Bleick , Armin Lehmann , Julia Metzner , Jens-Jörg Rieck , Andre Siems and four other radio commentators commented on site for the ARD radio station .

    On April 4, 2018 was Pay TV transmitter Sky Germany announced 25 selected games exclusively in high definition UHD format to show, including the opening match, four second round matches, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals, the game for 3rd place, the final and all matches of the German national team - Sky Deutschland broadcast a game on every match day. The agreement was signed with SportA , the sports rights agency of ARD and ZDF. Neither SportA nor Sky Deutschland gave any information about the amount paid for the sublicenses. Wolff-Christoph Fuss commented on the games for Sky Deutschland from Unterföhring .

    function ARD logo.svg ZDF logo.svg SKY Basic Logo.svg
    Moderators Matthias Opdenhövel ,
    Alexander Bommes
    Oliver Welke ,
    Jochen Breyer
    Experts | Thomas Hitzlsperger ,
    Stefan Kuntz ,
    Hannes Wolf
    and Kevin Kurányi (in the stadium)
    Oliver Kahn ,
    Christoph Kramer ,
    Holger Stanislawski ,
    Urs Meier
    and changing guests D1 D2
    Companion of the DFB-Elf Gerhard Delling Katrin Müller-Hohenstein -
    Stadium team Julia Scharf
    and Ralf Scholt
    Alexander Ruda ,
    Katja Streso
    and Sven Voss
    Commentators (television) Tom Bartels ,
    Gerd Gottlob ,
    Florian Naß
    and Steffen Simon
    Claudia Neumann ,
    Béla Réthy ,
    Oliver Schmidt ,
    Martin Schneider
    and Thomas Wark
    Wolff-Christoph Fuss D3
    Commentators (radio) Alexander Bleick ,
    Armin Lehmann ,
    Julia Metzner ,
    Jens-Jörg Rieck ,
    Andre Siems
    and four other commentators
    - -
    D2 A guest was usually invited to each game, often with a direct link to the game being broadcast.
    D3All 25 games that Sky Deutschland broadcast in Ultra HD .


    In Switzerland, all games were broadcast on SRG SSR's TV channels, apps and streams . Depending on the reception path, the games were also broadcast on UHD and HDR.


    The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) secured the broadcasting rights for Austria . They broadcast 56 of the 64 World Cup games live, because oe24.TV had agreed with ORF on sublicensing eight games in the preliminary round. These were the parallel games that were played at the same time as other games for competitive reasons. In addition, all World Cup games that were broadcast on ORF were broadcast again with a time delay.

    The ORF also offered  a UHD broadcast via the ORF media library - ORF TVthek . The UHD broadcasts were offered via the ORF TVthek app and on as an internet live stream.

    function ORF logo.svg Oe24 Logo 2016 alternative.svg
    Moderators Rainer Pariasek ,
    Alina Zellhofer ,
    Bernhard Stöhr
    Edi Finger junior ,
    Robert Seeger
    Experts | Herbert Prohaska ,
    Roman Mählich ,
    Marcel Koller ,
    Thomas Janeschitz
    Frenkie Schinkel
    Commentators Michael Bacher ,
    Boris Kastner-Jirka ,
    Thomas König ,
    Oliver Polzer ,
    Michael Roscher ,
    Dietmar Wolff
    Edi Finger junior,
    Robert Seeger
    Referee expert Thomas Steiner
    reporter Kristina Inhof ,
    Christian Diendorfer
    David Herrmann-Meng

    Opening ceremony

    The opening ceremony took place on Thursday, June 14, 2018, right before the home team's first game against Saudi Arabia and lasted about half an hour. Among others, the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri , Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder sat in the stadium .

    As part of the opening ceremony, Robbie Williams performed, among others , who sang several of his songs, including Let Me Entertain You , Angels and Rock DJ , some in a duet with the opera singer Aida Garifullina . Model Viktorija Lopyrjowa , as World Cup ambassador, brought the official World Cup ball into the stadium, as did Diego Maradona . The artistic director of the show was Felix Michailow.

    Closing ceremony

    The closing ceremony took place on Sunday, July 15, 2018 half an hour before the final between France and Croatia. Will Smith performed the World Cup song Live It Up with Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi . The Russian opera singer Aida Garifullina sang Kalinka , the former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho played a bush drum . Philipp Lahm brought the World Cup trophy to the stadium together with the Russian model Natalja Wodjanowa .


    Mascot Zabivaka

    The official mascot of the 2018 World Cup is the wolf Zabivaka ( Russian Забивака / Sabiwaka, translated “the one who scores a goal” or “small scorer”). He is dressed in the national colors and wears ski goggles. Zabivaka was officially presented on October 26, 2016 during a live broadcast on Russian television. The wolf prevailed against a tiger and a tomcat . The proposals could be voted on for a month on the FIFA website or during the TV show. A total of one million votes were cast.

    The official logo has the shape of the World Cup trophy and is mainly designed in red, gold, black and blue, which is intended to be reminiscent of the Russian national colors and world-famous Russian works of art. There is a “magic ball” at the top. This emerged from the firebird , which can be seen on the logo of the Confed Cup 2017 . The emblem is supposed to combine magic and dreams.

    Official song

    The official song of the World Cup is called Live It Up . It is sung by Boston- born Nicky Jam , US-American Will Smith and Kosovar Albanian Era Istrefi and was released on May 25, 2018.

    Sponsors and kit suppliers

    In addition to the permanent "partners" Adidas , Coca-Cola , Gazprom , Hyundai / Kia , Qatar Airways , Visa and Wanda Group , five international "World Cup sponsors" ( Anheuser-Busch InBev with the brand Budweiser , Hisense , McDonald’s , Mengniu Dairy and Vivo ) and eight "regional sponsors". Four of them came from Europe (all from Russia: Alfa Bank , ALROSA , Rostelekom and the Russian Railways (RŽD) ), three from Asia (Diking, Luci and Yadea) and one from Africa (Egypt - Experience & Invest).

    The kit suppliers of the 32 World Cup teams were as follows: Adidas (twelve teams: Egypt, Argentina, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Iran, Japan, Colombia, Morocco, Mexico, Sweden, Spain), Nike (ten teams: Australia, Brazil, England , France, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Nigeria, South Korea, Saudi Arabia), Puma (four teams: Switzerland, Senegal, Serbia, Uruguay), New Balance (two teams: Costa Rica, Panama), Umbro (Peru), Erreà (Iceland), Hummel (Denmark) and Uhlsport (Tunisia).

    Game balls

    Group stage match ball: Telstar 18

    Two official match balls were used at the 2018 World Cup: in the group phase the " Telstar 18 " - in terms of name and design, based on the first Adidas World Cup match ball from 1970 - and in the knockout phase, the " Telstar Mechta " In terms of design, it differs from the preliminary round model with red accents.



    The search for volunteers began on June 1, 2016. By the registration deadline on December 30 of the same year, 177,000 applications had been submitted. A total of 17,040 Organizing Committee volunteers and over 18,000 urban volunteers in 11 tournament host cities from 112 countries will participate. The organizing committee volunteers had to be at least 18 years old on May 10, 2018.


    The supporters of the Japanese national team stood out during the preliminary round by collecting garbage and cleaning up the stadium after the game. In part, they were supported by the fans of the opposing teams. The Japanese football fans had already noticed this behavior at previous tournaments and once again met with positive feedback from all over the world. Their own team did the same and left their own changing room extremely clean.


    Panini also published a scrapbook for the 2018 World Cup (publication date in Germany March 27, 2018). There was controversial discussion in the media, for example that the album was printed long before the final squad was determined and thus partly contains non-nominated players. The high cost of completing the album with 682 images and the optimal strategy for the so-called collector image problem were also often discussed.

    The Tschuttiheftli as an alternative to the Panini booklet ("Art instead of Commerce") was distributed for the 2018 World Cup in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Various artists designed the portraits. Any profit goes to cultural projects, the aid organizations Terre des hommes and Viva con Agua .

    As in previous years, Ferrero and Rewe issued scrapbooks (trading cards) for advertising reasons.


    The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan , which only ended on the day of the opening game, was feared by coaches negative effects on the performance of the teams of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Nigeria, although there is room for exceptions.

    Criticism of organization and environment

    Before and during the tournament, various sides criticized the implementation of the World Cup in Russia. The focus of the criticism was on the human rights situation , the restriction of media freedom and the doping problem. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch pointed out in the run-up to the World Cup that human rights were being "systematically violated" in Russia and published a human rights manual for the tournament.

    Human rights situation

    For the time of the World Cup, restrictions on civil liberties were temporarily lifted in Russia . The Guardian or the ORF correspondent explained how the “fiction” of freedom of assembly would be repealed immediately after the World Cup. In the BBC, Steve Rosenberg described the transformation of Russia as a ride on the rainbow from the well-known black and white reality into the dreamland of Oz , the SRF sports journalist Manuel König called the existence of these freedoms in Russia a "state of emergency". A commentator on Novaya Gazeta called the period a “huge theater”, which was also exploited by civil society groups; when twenty police officers approached at a small birthday party for Oleh Sentsov did not intervene, the "not to be arrested" alone was worth reporting. In St. Petersburg and Moscow, “Diversity House” had been set up as “temporary free spaces” with the risk of “becoming fig leaves for the international image” ( NZZ ). The rooms, which were actually initiated by the Football Against Racism network , were built in St. Petersburg as part of a “mobilization of civil society ” against political pressure from circles close to the government. Instead of free space for foreign fans, the bar in St. Petersburg was used by local groups for podiums on environmental protection or democracy, for film evenings and networking meetings, without being harassed by the authorities as usual.

    Deficiencies in stadium construction

    North Korean workers were used to build the stadiums for the World Cup . Their working conditions have been described by international organizations as the modern form of slavery. Other construction workers were exploited in a similar way. At least 17 deaths occurred on the World Cup construction sites, five of which were caused by the construction of the Saint Petersburg stadium. During the inspection of the construction site in Saint Petersburg by the International Union of Builders and Woodworkers , it was found that the health and safety standards of most of the subcontractors employed were "persistently and seriously" undermined. FIFA and the World Cup Organizing Committee admitted that workers from North Korea were deployed in Saint Petersburg. WDR and SWR reporters later met North Korean workers at the construction site of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The use of North Korean workers was heavily criticized by the United Nations . According to a resolution by the UN Security Council , North Koreans who are active in other countries would use the foreign currency acquired there to help finance North Korean nuclear and missile programs . Much of their wages would be forcibly transferred to the North Korean regime.


    According to a report by Football Against Racism in Europe and the SOWA center in Moscow, racist and anti- gay chants increased in Russian stadiums before the start of the World Cup . When the Russian national team lost in the friendly against France on March 27, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, spectators made monkey noises in the direction of dark-skinned players from the French national team. After evaluating the evidence and recordings, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee found the Russian Football Association guilty and announced in May 2018 that Russia would have to pay a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs (around 25,000 euros). The FIFA ruling caused displeasure because the fine for racist vilification by Russian fans was only marginally higher than the fine for an English youth player to carry an unsupported energy drink.

    In the run-up, concerns about the danger posed by Russian hooligans from the extreme right-wing scene were raised . The Federal Criminal Police Office held, according to a report received by "Bild" , that parts of the Russian fan scene are known for their violence and their racism . Hooligans in Russia have enjoyed the support of the authorities for years. During the riots during the 2016 European Football Championship , Russian hooligans attacked English and French fans. At that time, Russian politicians had praised the effectiveness of their hooligans. In 2017, the BBC broadcast the documentary Russia's Hooligan Army , in which Russian hooligans announced a “festival of violence” during the World Cup and Moscow hooligans described President Putin as foot soldiers . In response to the violence during the 2016 European Championships, the Russian government invested in public relations and introduced legislative tightening to improve the image of Russian fans and reduce the risk of violence at the tournament.

    FIFA announced on June 30th that Russia had been warned and fined the equivalent of around 8,650 euros for displaying discriminatory banners during World Cup matches. When Russia lost to Uruguay on June 25, fans displayed a neo-Nazi banner. The Association of Serbia also had to pay a fine of 17,300 euros because Serb supporters carried a poster celebrating a nationalist group from World War II during the game against Brazil .

    At the end of his coverage of the World Cup, the Nigerian journalist Duro Ikhazuagbe of the newspaper This Day described that his compatriots had been initially unsettled and, to their surprise, they had consistently reported positive experiences.

    At the end of the World Cup, Football Against Racism in Europe drew a largely positive conclusion with regard to discrimination, for example there had been no reports of racist incidents; however, there was occasional sexual harassment. Above all, the manager praised the people of Russia. They were hospitable and warm-hearted.


    In Russia, since the introduction of the laws against so-called “homosexual propaganda” , it has been a criminal offense to publicly profess homosexuality or to speak about homosexuality in the presence of minors. Violations can result in fines of the equivalent of up to 1360 euros or up to 15 days in prison; foreigners can be expelled from the country. In 2013, FIFA asked Russia to clarify these laws. The Brazilian government has recommended that football fans refrain from same-sex "public caresses" at the World Cup in Russia. The Brazilian Foreign Minister presented a guide to visiting the World Cup in Russia, which states that showing affection in public is not common in Russia and can be interpreted as "propaganda for non-traditional relationships and punished with fines and expulsion". Homophobia is widespread in Russia. The Federal Foreign Office pointed out the situation of sexual minorities in Russia and called for caution. According to this, the acceptance of same-sex partnerships in Russian society is low and attacks on homosexuals keep coming.

    On the first day of the tournament, a gay couple was attacked in Saint Petersburg. One of the two men - a French football fan - was hospitalized with severe head and jaw injuries. On the same day, human rights activist Peter Tatchell was arrested in Moscow for holding a sign in front of the Kremlin pointing out the torture of homosexuals in Chechnya .

    Football Against Racism in Europe highlighted sexist and homophobic incidents at the World Cup and urged FIFA to address these issues.


    The Egyptian national team stayed in Grozny , the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Chechnya , until they left . The Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov used this circumstance for propaganda purposes, which in turn led to criticism of the tournament organizers and FIFA. The human rights situation in Chechnya is considered particularly precarious.

    Restriction of media freedom

    Entry problems for journalists

    On May 11, 2018, the ARD announced that the visa applied for for doping expert Hajo Seppelt from Südwestrundfunk on the occasion of reporting on the World Cup had been declared invalid by Russia, as Seppelt was on the list of "undesirable persons". FIFA had previously given Seppelt an accreditation for the tournament and expected Russia to explain the exact background. The freedom of the press is very important to FIFA. Frank Überall , chairman of the German Association of Journalists (DJV), rates the decision as a "campaign of revenge" by Russia, as Seppelt "made the doping cases in Russia public". The Foreign Office announced that it would endeavor to clarify the background and, if necessary, “seek talks with the Russian side”. Dmitri Swishchev  - Russian politician and member of the Duma in the LDPR faction and President of the Russian Curling Association - defended his country's decision. In an interview with the sports news agency R-Sport, Swishchev accused the journalists that Seppelt only wanted to use the trip to the World Cup "to slander Russia and to enrich himself with it". A few days later, Seppelt was granted an entry visa, but if he entered "the territory of the Russian Federation" he would have to expect that the "State Investigative Committee would again take measures to question him". Seppelt then stated that he would have to weigh up a possible entry: “I will check carefully with my broadcaster whether I will go to the World Cup in the end. [...] The announced summons before a kind of investigative court doesn't sound really inviting. ”Risk analyzes by federal security authorities, including the Federal Criminal Police Office and the intelligence services, came to the conclusion that the World Cup visit represented an“ unpredictable risk ”for Seppelt. In an analysis by the Berlin State Criminal Police Office , it was already stated in mid-May 2018 that "Seppelt's trip to Russia was urgently advised against". The main problem is the upcoming interrogation by Russian authorities in the criminal case Grigory Rodchenkov , the key witness in the Russian doping scandal. On the one hand, “spontaneous acts of violence by self-motivated actors” are possible and, on the other hand, Seppelt can be arrested if the authorities are of the opinion that he is not cooperating. After a conversation with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas , Seppelt made the decision not to travel to the World Cup. According to Dagmar Freitag , chairman of the sports committee in the German Bundestag , Russia is restricting the freedom of reporting and is not keeping promises it has made to FIFA. In her opinion, countries like Russia will no longer be considered for international events in the future.

    Message lock

    According to British sources, the Russian Interior Ministry has mandated the police to withhold reports of crime and negative news from the public during the World Cup. Police were instructed not to disclose information about the results of investigations, police raids, or other operations between June 5 and July 25, and instead emphasize positive news. The Russian government wants to convey a positive image of the country and freedom from violence. Usually, the Russian police regularly release information on crimes, from robbery and murder to foiled terrorist attacks. Police authorities in all federal subjects of Russia have not published any news of crime since June 6. The press service of the Interior Ministry of the Krasnodar region , where the World Cup host city of Sochi is located, informed a Russian news site that the press office was only allowed to issue positive information. At the Central Federal District Police in the greater Moscow area, a supervisor also instructed officers to monitor social media to intercept negative news about the Ministry of Interior and the government.

    In addition, state propaganda against the allegedly Russophobic and decadent West was shut down. The independent polling center Levada documented a significant increase in the number of Russians who supported rapprochement with the West after the World Cup; Lilija Shevtsova stated that the Russians no longer wanted to live in the “besieged fortress” depicted by the state-controlled media, an image that serves to keep the Kremlin elite in power.


    Another reason for criticism was the revelations of longstanding Russian state doping in the course of the McLaren Report in 2016 and the resulting partial exclusion of the Russian Federation from the 2016 Summer Olympics . In the further course of the revelations it became known that the Russian national soccer team of the soccer world cup 2014 as well as eleven other soccer players are suspected of being involved in the Russian state doping system. At the end of 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had seized 155 samples from footballers in Russia in the Moscow control laboratory, including many national players and thus also players from the 2018 World Cup squad. 34 doping tests of Russian footballers were " possibly positive ”or have been manipulated. According to its own information, FIFA has not yet been able to detect a doping violation in the samples, but the suspected doping control bottles had not yet been examined for manipulation in May 2018. This prompted international criticism that suspicious doping samples from Russian national players from the provisional World Cup squad had not been adequately examined and that FIFA, which acts both as the organizer of the World Cup and as the sole doping control officer, had an interest in covering up positive samples so as not to disturb the tournament. In June 2018, investigators uncovered that, in at least one case, the urine sample of a Russian national player - Ruslan Kambolow from Rubin Kazan - was exchanged and covered up by order of the Ministry of Sports. The father of the Russian national player Denis Cheryshev said in an interview with a Russian sports magazine that his son had been injected with growth hormone before the tournament. The player later denied this. The exceptional mileage of the Russian players, who consistently ran the most of all teams, as well as the noticeable leaps in performance compared to previous tournaments raised the suspicion of doping again.

    In the WDR documentary "Doping Secret - Showdown for Russia" from June 2016, the ARD / WDR doping expert Hajo Seppelt confirmed the suspicion with previously unpublished documents that the Russian government and Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko were directly involved in the cover-up of state-controlled doping have been. Mutko himself was also President of the Russian Football Association and World Cup chief organizer at the time of the unveiling . In an interview with the sports news agency R-Sport in September 2017, Mutko vehemently denied the state's involvement in systematic doping and instead accused the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), with reference to Grigory Rodchenkov , who was a former Head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory had made the systematic doping practices in Russia public to have contributed to the whole affair. The International Olympic Committee classified Mutko as the central head of the systematic manipulation and excluded him from the Olympic Games for life on December 5, 2017. At the end of December 2017, Mutko announced that it would temporarily resign from the leadership of the Russian Football Association. This was seen as a consequence of the doping allegations against Russia. Nevertheless, Mutko reserved the right to keep the post of World Cup chief organizer. Shortly afterwards, Mutko also gave up the post of chief organizer of the World Cup.

    security concept

    In addition to the commitment of the police, the army and the national guard , the security concept also envisaged the deployment of Cossack militias as security forces in several of the host cities. At the beginning of May 2018, the Human Rights Council asked the law enforcement authorities to answer the question of why the demonstrations on May 5, 2018 in Moscow had scenes of violence exactly where Cossacks were present, as well as about their cooperation with authorities. Swiss television called the groups "thugs" after the ultra-conservatives beat down protesters critical of the government and questioned the ability of these militias to deal with hooligans. Some members of the paramilitary Cossack troops in Sochi, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad and beyond in Yessentuki , where the Nigerian national team was housed, had previously fought for Russia in the wars in Ukraine and Syria (see. War in the Ukraine since 2014 and Russian military operation in Syria ). In the context of the World Cup, the Cossacks were finally deployed unarmed.

    Calls for boycotts

    As early as spring 2014, as a result of the Crimean crisis and against the background of the war in eastern Ukraine, voices were heard in the media for the first time to boycott the 2018 World Cup. In July 2014, top German politicians expressed massive criticism of the award of the World Cup to Russia. The world football federation said, however, that they want to stick to the host Russia.

    In April 2015, 13 US Senators launched a new push with a letter to FIFA and Blatter. In this, they criticize the Ukraine crisis and the attitude of Russian President Vladimir Putin and plead for a new allocation of the 2018 World Cup. From the point of view of the critics, Russia will gain "economic relief" through the games and thus FIFA will support "the regime".

    In spring 2018, after the poison attack on ex-Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter , England and Iceland declared a political boycott of the World Cup. The British royal family also canceled a visit to the tournament. The British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said Putin will use the World Cup, "like Hitler , the 1936 Olympic Games took advantage." Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that he would be absent from the opening ceremony, and the governments of Denmark and Sweden were also considering a diplomatic boycott of the Skripal case. On the occasion of the poison attack, 60  MEPs from five parliamentary groups and 16 countries called in an open letter to the EU member states to follow the example of England and Iceland. Reasons for this are Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, the support of Bashar al-Assad , systematic hacker attacks and electoral interference as well as the repression against regime critics in Russia.

    In Switzerland, a political boycott of the World Cup was called for by left-green politicians. According to the President of the Greens , Regula Rytz , the endangerment of human rights through the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be "legitimized" by a visit by the Federal President.

    Australia decided not to send government officials to the tournament after new evidence emerged that Russia was directly involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 with 27 Australian passengers on board. In this context, a boycott was discussed in the Netherlands after former international John van 't Schip appealed to the Dutch Football Association to boycott the tournament because of the MH17 tragedy. After the findings about the shooting down of flight MH17, the Alliance 90 / The Greens also advocated that no top politicians from the European Union take part in the celebrations of the football World Cup.

    Pension reform in Russia

    On the opening day of the World Cup, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced unexpected reform plans for the Russian pension system, which would result in a substantial increase in the retirement age and which are rejected by a clear majority of citizens. In this context, the government was accused of having used the World Cup as a cover for the initiative in question, especially considering that street actions during the World Cup were prohibited for safety reasons. After the World Cup ended, protests broke out across the country.


    • At 45 years and five months, Essam El-Hadary (Egypt) is the oldest player ever to have been nominated for a World Cup finals.
    • Daniel Arzani (Australia) is the youngest participant at 19 years and 163 days. Kylian Mbappé (France), who is just two weeks older, is the first under 20 since the 1958 World Cup to score more than one goal in a knockout game. At that time, the only 17-year-old Pelé managed to do this twice: in the final against Sweden and previously in the semi-finals - against France.
    • The opening game was played by the two worst teams in the tournament according to the FIFA world rankings.
    • The first goal of the tournament was scored by Yuri Gasinski ( Russia ) in the opening game against Saudi Arabia in the 12th minute.
    • The highest-scoring games were the group games Belgium against Tunisia (5: 2) and England against Panama (6: 1) and France against Argentina (4: 3) in the round of 16, each with seven goals .
    • The only goalless game in the preliminary round was the game between France and Denmark on June 26th. With the draw, the two teams consolidated their top two table positions.
    • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) scored the first penalty in the fourth minute of the first group match against Spain. Additionally, the causal scene was the first situation reviewed by the video umpire team.
    • The Dane Zanka scored the earliest goal in the first minute of the round of 16 against Croatia.
    • The Moroccan Aziz Bouhaddouz made the first own goal in the group game against Iran in the 90 + 5. Minute.
    • The youngest coach was Aliou Cissé (Senegal) at 42 years and 87 days in the first game against Poland; the oldest Óscar Tabárez (Uruguay) at 71 years and 104 days in the first game against Egypt. After Otto Rehhagel (71 years and 317 days at the 2010 World Cup), he is the second oldest World Cup coach of all time.
    • Mexico's captain Rafael Márquez took part in a World Cup finals for the fifth time. Before him, only Lothar Matthäus , Gianluigi Buffon and Antonio Carbajal had managed this so far .
    • Carlos Sánchez (Colombia) received the first red card in the third minute of the first group match against Japan for deliberate handball in the penalty area to prevent a goal. It was also the second earliest red card at a World Cup within a game. José Batista (Uruguay), however, had to leave the field in the first minute of the goalless group game against Scotland in Mexico in 1986 .
    • With the reigning world champion Germany , the defending champion was eliminated in the group stage, as did Italy (1950, 2010), Brazil (1966), France (2002) and Spain (2014). Argentina as runner-up was also eliminated early on, namely in the first round of 16 against France (3: 4).
    • All five African teams were eliminated in the preliminary round. This last happened at the Soccer World Cup in 1982 , when only two teams took part.
    • The round of 16 encounter between Spain and Russia was the first of the tournament to go into overtime and in which the winner was determined by a subsequent penalty shoot-out.
    • Mario Mandžukić made the first own goal in a World Cup final against France in the 18th minute .

    Web links

    Commons : Soccer World Cup 2018  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

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