World Cup Key Facts

By Marsh

Posted 15/06/18

The World Cup kicked off in Russia on June 14th 2018 for a month of what we hope will be intense and entertaining football. The opening game saw the hosts Russia against Saudi Arabia with the final set for 15th of July. [1]

Reigning champions Germany are expected to do well and could potentially be title holders for another four years. [2] A feat not achieved since Brazil retained the World Cup in 1962 in Chile.

So to get you in the mood for planning you World Cup viewing parties, here’s everything you need to know about the tournament.

List of Teams in the World Cup

There’s been some surprising teams missing in the World Cup this year with both Italy and The Netherlands failing to qualify. [3] But the groups are still interesting with England and Belgium facing off in Group G.

How were the World Cup Groups Decided?

The groups are decided based on how successful teams were in the qualifying rounds. Pot one contained the seven highest-ranking teams plus the host country, pot two had the next eight most successful teams and so on. There were four pots in total and one team was drawn at random from each pot to decide the groups. [4]

Group A [5]


Saudi Arabia




Group B






Group C






Group D






Group E



Costa Rica



Group F




South Korea


Group G






Group H






Where is the World Cup?

Matches will take place at 12 different venues around Russia with the opening and final match being held at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. [6] Here are the other venues:

Saint Petersburg Stadium – Saint Petersburg

Fisht Stadium – Sochi

Ekaterinburg Arena – Ekaterinburg

Kazan Arena – Kazan

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium – Nizhny Novgorod

Rostov Arena – Rostov-on-Don

Samara Arena – Samara

Mordovia Arena – Saransk

Volgograd Arena – Volgograd

Spartak Stadium – Moscow

Kaliningrad – Kaliningrad


England Group Games [7] [8]

England’s main competitor in the group is undoubtedly Belgium but as with any other World Cup, there could be some surprises in store.

  • England’s World Cup campaign kicks off against Tunisia on Monday the 18th at 7pm BST at Volgograd Arena
  • Match two against Panama is six days later on Sunday the 24th at 1pm BST at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
  • England’s final group match is the big one against Belgium on Thursday the 28th at 7pm BST at the Kaliningrad Stadium


Which TV Channels will World Cup Matches be Shown on? [9]

ITV and BBC both have rights to the all the matches and here are some of the games to look out for:

Tunisia vs England – BBC

England vs Panama – BBC

England vs Belgium – ITV

Quarter final July 6th – BBC

Quarter final July 7th – ITV

Semi final July 10th – ITV

Semi final July 11th – BBC

Third place play off July 14th – ITV

Final July 15th – ITV and BBC


Who are the Referees? [10]

There are 36 referees, 63 assistant referees and 13 video assistants from the six different football confederations around the world.

There is no refereeing representation from any of the home nations but UEFA has submitted referees from Germany, Turkey, Russia, The Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, and France.

So all that’s left for you to do now is get some beers in and enjoy the tournament!














Posted 15/06/18

Author: Marsh

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