The FIFA World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930.
The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years, World Cup Finals is conducted to determine which team qualifies for the tournament phase. 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation, compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about a month.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. This will be the first World Cup ever held in Eastern Europe and the first held in Europe since 2006, The final tournament will involve 32 national teams, which include 31 teams determined through qualifying competitions and the automatically qualified host team. A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final will take place on 15 July in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium. The winners will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The bidding procedure to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups began in January 2009. Initially, nine countries placed bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Later Mexico withdrew from proceedings and Indonesia’s bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid. During the bidding process, the three remaining non-UEFA nations (Australia, Japan, and the United States) gradually withdrew from the 2018 bids and the UEFA nations were thus ruled out of the 2022 bid. There were eventually four bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup: England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium, and Portugal/Spain.
The 22 member FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zürich on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments. Russia won the right to be the 2018 host in the second round of voting which was held on December2, 2010. Russia proposed the following host cities:
Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg. All the cities are in or just outside European Russia to reduce travel time for the teams in the huge country. The bid evaluation report stated: “The Russian bid proposes 13 host cities and 16 stadiums, thus exceeding FIFA’s minimum requirement. Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed.
For both the 2018 and 2022 editions of the World Cup, the FIFA Executive Committee voted to decide which candidate should host the tournament. The multiple round exhaustive ballot system was used to determine the tournament host. All eligible members of the FIFA Executive Committee had one vote. The candidate country that received the fewest votes in each round was eliminated until a single candidate was chosen by the majority. In the event of a tied vote, FIFA President Sepp Blatter would have had the deciding vote.
The official FIFA World Cup mascot for the 2018 tournament, a wolf named Zabivaka was unveiled on 21 October 2016. Representing an anthropomorphic wolf with brown and white wool T-shirt with the words “RUSSIA 2018” with put on and removed orange sport glasses. The combination of white, blue and red T-shirt and shorts are the national colors of the Russian team. The student designer is Ekaterina Bocharova, and the mascot was selected by Internet voting.