The most viewed sporting spectacle in the world is nearly upon us, the World Cup. The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia from the 14th of June up until the 15th of July.
Holders Germany will be looking to defend their title and they are current joint favourites alongside Brazil with France, Spain and Argentina just behind them. This will also be the first World Cup appearance for Panama and Iceland who impressed at the recent Euro’s.
32 teams will compete in 12 venues across Russia before the final which will be held at the 81,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15th.
Other venues that will feature in the 2018 World Cup Finals are;
Otkritie Arena in Moscow which holds 45,360
Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg which holds 68,134
Kaliningrad Stadium in Saint Petersburg which holds 35,212
Kazan Arena in Kazan which holds 45,379
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod which holds 44,899
Volgograd Arena in Volgorad which holds 45, 568
Mordovia Arena in Saransk which holds 44,442
Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don which holds 45,000
Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi which holds 47,659
Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg which holds 35,696
The initial groups are as follows;
The 2018 World Cup sponsor will is a wolf named Zabivaka which translates as ‘The one who scores’ and will be seen on merchandising for the tournament.
The main sponsorship for the tournament will come from Adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai-Kia, Qatar Airways, Visa, Wanda Group, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Hisense, McDonalds, Mengniu Dairy, Vivo and Alfa Bank.
Some concerns were raised after violence marred some of the Russian performances at the 2016 European Championships in France however steps have been taken to ensure there won’t be any repeats of the trouble.
The competition will be a major opportunity for sponsors to reach customers and for countries to promote their own federations. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil viewing figures for the tournament totalled around 3.2billion while over 1 billion tuned in to the final alone.
As well as being huge business for everyone taking part in this year’s World Cup, many club teams will be keeping a close eye on the players taking part as values can go through the roof if a player has a good tournament.
No matter who wins it is bound to be another immensely popular World Cup tournament that entertains billions of fans all around the world and will hopefully inspire the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.