2018 Ticket design unveiled

With 69 days to go until the opening match and 100 days to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA has presented the World Cup ticket design. Tickets will be personalised with the name of the ticket holder printed on it.

All key match-related information, such as the fixture, stadium, date, kick-off and gate opening time, is printed on each ticket. Each ticket also has details of the category, information on how to find the assigned seat as well as a map indicating the stadium sector in which the seat is located. A list of prohibited items and an abridged version of the General Terms and Conditions for the Use of Tickets applicable to all ticket holders is printed on the rear of each ticket.

The tickets feature key security elements including a barcode positioned on the right-hand side and a hologram next to the sector map.

Fans will undergo the following checks upon arrival at the stadium:

  • External stadium perimeter: fans will be requested to present their FAN IDs and tickets.
  • Entrance to the stadium: electronic ticket validation will be implemented through a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system, which will identify cancelled or counterfeit tickets that will not give access to the respective match.

At the request of the Russian authorities, all fans attending matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup need to apply for a FAN ID – the official identity document issued to fans. Fans are encouraged to apply for this free document as soon as possible after they have received their ticket confirmation email.

A FAN ID and a valid ticket are required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Having a FAN ID gives fans additional benefits and services provided by the host country, such as visa-free entry to the Russian Federation, certain free inter-host city travel and free use of public transport on matchdays. For further details, please visit www.fan-id.ru.

Champions League draw for last 16

With most of Europe’s top club teams qualifying for the knock out stage of the Champions League, the draw has thrown up some very tasty matches, some of which would happily grace the final.

The Champions League last-16 draw is:

Juventus v Tottenham (13 February and 7 March)

Basel v Manchester City (13 February and 7 March)

Porto v Liverpool (14 February and 6 March)

Sevilla v Manchester United (21 February and 13 March)

Real Madrid v PSG (14 February and 6 March)

Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma (21 February and 13 March)

Chelsea v Barcelona (20 February and 14 March)

Bayern Munich v Besiktas (20 February and 14 March)

UK World Cup TV schedule

ITV and the BBC have sat down and agreed the schedule of matches they will each air during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. ITV will show the opening game between Russia and Saudia Arabia on 14 June, but the networks will go head-to-head when they both broadcast the final live from Moscow on Sunday, 15 July at 16:00.

Following the group stage ITV has the first pick in the last 16. The BBC will have the first two choices of quarter-final games, including England’s if they progress that far.

In the UK most of the games – with a few exceptions – will kick off daily at 13.00, 16.00 and 19.00.

The full UK TV schedule for the 2018 World Cup at the group stage (times are for the UK) is:

Thursday, June 14

  • Russia v Saudi Arabia Moscow 4pm ITV

Friday, June 15

  • Egypt v Uruguay 1pm BBC
  • Morocco v Iran 4pm ITV
  • Portugal v Spain 7pm BBC

Saturday, June 16

  • France v Australia 11am BBC
  • Argentina v Iceland Moscow 2pm ITV
  • Denmark v Peru 5pm BBC
  • Croatia v Nigeria 8pm ITV

Sunday, June 17

  • Costa Rica v Serbia 1pm ITV
  • Germany v Mexico Moscow 4pm BBC
  • Brazil v Switzerland 7pm ITV

Monday, June 18

  • Sweden v South Korea 1pm ITV
  • Belgium v Panama 4pm BBC
  • Tunisia v England 7pm BBC

Tuesday, June 19

  • Colombia v Japan 1pm BBC
  • Poland v Senegal 4pm ITV
  • Russia v Egypt 7pm BBC

Wednesday, June 20

  • Portugal v Morocco 1pm BBC
  • Uruguay v Saudi Arabia 4pm BBC
  • Iran v Spain 7pm ITV

Thursday, June 21

  • France v Peru 1pm ITV
  • Denmark v Australia 4pm ITV
  • Argentina v Croatia 7pm BBC

Friday, June 22

  • Brazil v Costa Rica 1pm ITV
  • Nigeria v Iceland 4pm BBC
  • Serbia v Switzerland 7pm BBC

Saturday, June 23

  • Belgium v Tunisia 1pm BBC
  • Germany v Sweden 4pm ITV
  • South Korea v Mexico 7pm ITV

Sunday, June 24

  • England v Panama 1pm BBC
  • Japan v Senegal 4pm BBC
  • Poland v Colombia 7pm ITV

Monday, June 25

  • Saudi Arabia v Egypt 3pm ITV
  • Uruguay v Russia 3pm ITV
  • Iran v Portugal 7pm BBC
  • Spain v Morocco 7pm BBC

Tuesday, June 26

  • Denmark v France 3pm ITV
  • Australia v Peru 3pm ITV
  • Nigeria v Argentina 7pm BBC
  • Croatia v Iceland 7pm BBC

Wednesday, June 27

  • South Korea v Germany 3pm BBC
  • Mexico v Sweden 3pm BBC
  • Serbia v Brazil 7pm ITV
  • Switzerland v Costa Rica 7pm ITV

Thursday, June 28

  • Japan v Poland 3pm BBC
  • Colombia v Senegal 3pm BBC
  • Panama v Tunisia 7pm ITV
  • England v Belgium 7pm ITV


FIFA 2018 World Cup Poster

The famed Moscow Metro held the unveiling of the last remaining visual icon of the event. For the 2018 issue of the Official Poster, the Russian artist Igor Gurovich chose legendary Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin as a central figure of his work.

“The Official Poster of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a true reflection of Russia’s artistic and football heritage,” commented FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura. “We are very proud of this beautiful landmark asset that portrays such an important icon and celebrates the coming tournament on Russian soil.”

Yashin played in four FIFA World Cups – 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970 – and remains the only goalkeeper in the history of football to win the Ballon d’Or. In the poster, he is dressed in his traditional outfit of black shirt and shorts, knee brace and his famous cap. He is shown reaching for the ball, one half of which is a typical football from Yashin’s era, with the other depicting the vast landmass of Russia as seen from space, reflecting a key inspiration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup brand, that of Russia’s achievements in space exploration.

Artistically, Gurovich was inspired by the Russian movement of Constructivism from the late 1920s, in particular the posters designed by Dziga Vertov and the Stenberg brothers. The rays of light emanating from the ball, a common feature of Constructivist work, symbolises the tournament’s energy, while the circle of green represents the pitches of 12 stadiums in 11 Host Cities that will stage the 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Nearly time for the FIFA World Cup draw

The scene is all set for all 32 participating member associations to learn their paths to possible glory with the draw for the FIFA World Cup taking place on 1 December (18:00 local time) in Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has been used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots in descending order, with the best seven teams along with hosts Russia in pot 1.

The draw sequence will start with pot 1 and end with pot 4. Each pot will be completely emptied before moving on to the next. As per the usual standard FIFA procedure, a ball from a team pot will be drawn, followed by a ball from one of the group pots, thus determining the position in which the respective team will play.

In pot 1, Russia will be a red ball and has already been pre-assigned the position of A1 as the host country, allowing it to play in the opening game on 14 June. Ironically Russia is the lowest ranked team playing in the World Cup.

The remaining seven teams in pot 1 will automatically be drawn into position 1 of each group (B to H), whereas teams in pots 2, 3 and 4 will be drawn into positions randomly in their groups.

FIFA’s general principle is also to ensure that no group has more than one team from the same qualification zone drawn into it. This is applicable to all zones except Europe, which is represented by 14 teams. Each group must have at least one but no more than two European teams drawn into it. As such, six out of the eight groups will feature two European teams.

The distribution of the teams into the groups according to the geographic separation principle will be monitored by a system designed to take all parameters into account, which means that groups may be skipped. For example, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay, which are in pot 2, will not be drawn into the same group with Brazil or Argentina, which are in pot one. The same principle will apply to the teams from the other confederations with the exception of UEFA.

The Final 32 for Russia 2018

208 countries entered for the 2018 World Cup, but there is only space for just 32 teams in Russia. To qualify a total of 871 games were played between 12 March 2015 and 15 November 2017 with 2,469 goals being scored.

The 32 teams to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their FIFA rankings, and how they performed in Brazil are:

  1. Argentina (4) – Finalist – Runner-up in Brazil
  2. Australia  (43) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  3. Belgium (5) – Quarter finalist in Brazil
  4. Brazil (2) – Semi finalist- 4th place in Brazil
  5. Colombia (13) – Quarter finalist in Brazil
  6. Costa Rica (22) – Quarter finalist in Brazil
  7. Croatia (18) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  8. Denmark (19) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2010
  9. Egypt (30) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 1990
  10. England (12) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  11. France (7) – Quarter finalist in Brazil
  12. Germany (1) – Finalist – 2014 World Champions in Brazil
  13. Iceland (21) – First World Cup Finals appearance
  14. Iran (31) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  15. Japan (44) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  16. Mexico (16) – Knocked out in the round of 16 in Brazil
  17. Morocco (48) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2010
  18. Nigeria (41) – Knocked out in the round of 16 in Brazil
  19. Panama (49) – First World Cup Finals appearance
  20. Peru (10) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 1982
  21. Poland (6) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2006
  22. Portugal (3) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  23. Russia (65) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  24. Saudi Arabia (63) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2006
  25. Senegal (32) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2002
  26. Serbia (38) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2010
  27. South Korea (62) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  28. Spain (8) – Knocked out at the group stage in Brazil
  29. Sweden (25) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2006
  30. Switzerland (11) – Knocked out in the round of 16 in Brazil
  31. Tunisia (28) – Last played in the World Cup Finals in 2006
  32. Uruguay (17) – Knocked out in the round of 16 in Brazil

Of the 32 teams playing in Russia, 20 of them are returning after the previous tournament in Brazil in 2014, which means 12 teams that played in Brazil won’t be in Russia, but 12 teams new teams are. New since Brazil are Denmark, Egypt, Iceland (first World Cup Finals appearance), Morocco, Panama, (first World Cup Finals appearance), Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sweden and Tunisia. Nigeria is the only African side to return to the World Cup Finals after Brazil, while Brazil was the first team to qualify.