A man walks past a giant sign reading 'Russia 2018' in downtown Yekaterinburg, on August 19, 2017.
The city of Yekaterinburg will host several games of the FIFA World Cup 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

9 Interesting Facts About the FIFA World Cup in Russia Next Year

Football fans across the world are eagerly waiting for the arrival of the biggest sporting spectacle on the globe, the FIFA World Cup which is going to be held in Russia in 2018.

After the success of the previous World Cup in Brazil, Russia has a chance to put on a great show for the world as it will be the first time since 2006 that the World Cup has returned to European soil.

Today we introduce you to the 9 interesting facts about the FIFA World Cup in Russia next year!

9. First Ever FIFA World Cup in Russia

Russia has hosted many big tournaments including the Olympics but this is the first time the country will be host to the FIFA World Cup in their own backyard.

8. Theme of the tournament

The main theme of the tournament are things Russia is famous for, such as, ‘The dream and the cosmic outer space exploration, enlivened with folk motives featuring Firebirds, Matryoshkas and folk patterns.’  

7. Mascot

The Mascot of the World Cup is a wolf called 'Zabivaka' which was picked by voters on the internet.

6. Teams

As we all already know, 32 teams from all over the world will be part of the World Cup. There are a specific number of teams representing each continent. 

There are a total of 14 European, 5 African, 4 Asian, 4 South American and 3 North American countries that will take part in the World Cup next year. The remaining two spots are left for countries to win in the play-offs.

5. Venues

Eleven cities in total will play hosts for the tournament. They include Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi, Volgograd, Samara, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Yekaterinburg and Saransk.

4. First match and the final Venue

Moscow is the centre of the tournament. The opening match and the World Cup final will be at the coveted Luzhniki Stadium at the centre of the beautiful city.

3. Reason why Zimbabwe failed to qualify despite earning their Spot in Russia

Zimbabwe were supposed to compete in the tournament for the first time ever, but they failed to pay severance fee for a coach and FIFA expelled them from the competition. 

2. No Visa Requirement to Enter Russia During the World Cup

Most tourists aren’t allowed to enter Russia without a proper legal travel document such as a Visa. During the Championship you won’t need a Visa for entering the country, but you will need other documents such as proof of ticket purchase as well as other norms that have been adhered to in consensus with FIFA.

1. Most Stadiums for the World Cup in Russia are Brand New

Most stadiums in Russia are brand new and they are made with special technology and have been equipped with the highest standards which were a major requirement from FIFA.

It is expected to be one of the most glorious World Cups witnessed in recent times.