FIFA World Cup 2018 kicks off Thursday | 2018-06-14 |

FIFA World Cup 2018 kicks off Thursday

Sun Online Desk     14th June, 2018 01:43:42 printer

FIFA World Cup 2018 kicks off Thursday

The long-awaited 32-nation FIFA World Cup 2018 begins on Thursday with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the opening match at the 80,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow amid huge enthusiasm among millions of soccer fans across the world.


The match will kick off at 9pm Bangladesh time.


World best 32 football playing nations, split into eight groups, will participate in the biggest show on earth missed by four-time champions Italy, 2010 finalist Netherlands, two-time Copa champions Chile and the USA while Saudi Arabia returned to the World Cup after 2002.  


The 30-minute glittering opening ceremony will begin at 8:30 pm (BST) with 500 local performers, including dancers, gymnasts and trampolinists, rendering the show.


Brazil's two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo will show off the trophy to 80,000 fans inside the stadium.


World Cup organisers earlier announced that British singer Robbie Williams will perform at the World Cup opening ceremony on Thursday. In the 1990s, Williams was a part of the pop group “Take That.”


Robbie Williams will open the World Cup programme with Russia soprano Aida Garifullina joining the English singer for what FIFA has described as a "musical extravaganza".


A fireworks display is set to bring the ceremony to a close before the World Cup competition returns four years on from Mario Gotze's decisive contribution in Brazil.


Bangladesh U-12 boy Rafi is going to create a history in the opening ceremony of 21st FIFA World Cup as Ambassador of Bangladesh. He will carry the national flag of Bangladesh accompanied by Bangladeshi young journalist Shams alongside the budding footballers of some 211 countries across the world in the ceremony.


Bangladeshi budding footballer Rafi, now in Russia Under FIFA Football For Friendship programme, also played for Galapagos Sea Lions team alongside the players of six countries -- China, Cyprus, Liberia, Anguilla, Ivory Coast and Turks & Caicos Island at Spartak Stadium in Moscow and scored six goals in the three matches on Tuesday ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018.


Meanwhile, World Cup fever grabbed capital Dhaka and all over the country as the flags of two favoruite teams -– Brazil and Argentina – have already hoisted atop roofs, shops, road islands and important points of the city and other areas.


Grouping and Fixture of FIFA World Cup Russia’2018



Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay


Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran


Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark


Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria


Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia


Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea


Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England


Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan




GROUP STAGE              

Date:                                       Match                                     Venue             Kick-off

Thursday         June 14     Russia v Saudi Arabia (A) Moscow (Luzhniki)     4pm GMT

Friday              June 15     Egypt v Uruguay (A)         Ekaterinburg               1pm

Friday              June 15     Morocco v Iran (B)            St Petersburg               4pm

Friday              June 15     Portugal v Spain (B)          Sochi                           7pm

Saturday          June 16     France v Australia (C)       Kazan                          11am

Saturday          June 16     Argentina v Iceland (D)     Moscow (Spartak)     2pm

Saturday          June 16     Peru v Denmark (C)           Saransk                        5pm

Saturday          June 16     Croatia v Nigeria (D)         Kaliningrad                 8pm

Sunday            June 17     Costa Rica v Serbia (E)     Samara                         1pm

Sunday            June 17     Germany v Mexico (F)     Moscow (Luzhniki)     4pm

Sunday            June 17     Brazil v Switzerland (E)     Rostov-on-Don          7pm

Monday           June 18     Sweden v South Korea (F)     Nizhny Novgorod     1pm

Monday           June 18     Belgium v Panama (G)     Sochi                           4pm

Monday           June 18     Tunisia v England (G)       Volgograd                   7pm

Tuesday           June 19     Poland v Senegal (H)         Moscow (Spartak)     1pm

Tuesday           June 19     Colombia v Japan (H)        Saransk                        4pm

Tuesday           June 19     Russia v Egypt (A)            St Petersburg               7pm

Wednesday     June 20     Portugal v Morocco (B)     Moscow (Luzhniki)     1pm

Wednesday     June 20     Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A)     Rostov-on-Don     4pm

Wednesday     June 20     Iran v Spain (B)                             Kazan              7pm

Thursday         June 21     France v Peru (C)               Ekaterinburg               1pm

Thursday         June 21     Denmark v Australia (C)   Samara                         4pm

Thursday         June 21     Argentina v Croatia (D)     Nizhny Novgorod     7pm

Friday              June 22     Brazil v Costa Rica (E)     St Petersburg               1pm

Friday              June 22     Nigeria v Iceland (D)         Volgograd                   4pm

Friday              June 22     Serbia v Switzerland (E)     Kaliningrad                7pm

Saturday          June 23     Belgium v Tunisia (G)       Moscow (Spartak)       1pm

Saturday          June 23     Germany v Sweden (F)                 Sochi               4pm

Saturday          June 23     South Korea v Mexico (F)     Rostov-on-Don       7pm

Sunday            June 24     England v Panama (G)     Nizhny Novgorod       1pm

Sunday            June 24     Japan v Senegal (H)           Ekaterinburg               4pm

Sunday            June 24     Poland v Colombia (H)     Kazan                          7pm

Monday           June 25     Uruguay v Russia (A)        Samara                        3pm

Monday           June 25     Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A)   Volgograd                             3pm

Monday           June 25     Spain v Morocco (B)         Kaliningrad                 7pm

Monday           June 25     Iran v Portugal (B)             Saransk                        7pm

Tuesday           June 26     Denmark v France (C)     Moscow (Luzhniki)       3pm

Tuesday           June 26     Australia v Peru (C)           Sochi                           3pm

Tuesday           June 26     Nigeria v Argentina (D)     St Petersburg              7pm

Tuesday           June 26     Iceland v Croatia (D)         Rostov-on-Don           7pm

Wednesday     June 27     South Korea v Germany (F)     Kazan                   3pm

Wednesday     June 27     Mexico v Sweden (F)        Ekaterinburg               3pm

Wednesday     June 27     Serbia v Brazil (E)             Moscow (Spartak)       7pm

Wednesday     June 27     Switzerland v Costa Rica (E)     Nizhny Novgorod    7pm

Thursday         June 28     Japan v Poland (H)                        Volgograd     3pm

Thursday         June 28     Senegal v Colombia (H)     Samara                        3pm

Thursday         June 28     England v Belgium (G)     Kaliningrad                             7pm

Thursday         June 28     Panama v Tunisia (G)        Saransk                        7pm


LAST 16              

Saturday          June 30    1C v 2D (Match 50)    Kazan                                 3pm

Saturday          June 30    1A v 2B (Match 49)    Sochi                                  7pm

Sunday            July 1     1B v 2A (Match 51)    Moscow                               3pm

Sunday            July 1     1D v 2C (Match 52)    Nizhny Novgorod                7pm

Monday           July 2     1E v 2F (Match 53)    Samara                                  3pm

Monday           July 2     1G v 2H (Match 54)    Rostov-on-Don                    7pm

Tuesday           July 3     1F v 2E (Match 55)    St Petersburg                         3pm

Tuesday           July 3     1H v 2G (Match 56)    Moscow (Spartak)               7pm



Friday              July 6               Winner 49 v winner 50 (57)     Nizhny Novgorod     3pm

Friday              July 6               Winner 53 v winner 54 (58)     Kazan                         7pm

Saturday          July 7               Winner 55 v winner 56 (60)     Samara                       3pm

Saturday          July 7               Winner 51 v winner 52 (59)     Sochi                          7pm



Tuesday           July 10             Winner 57 v winner 58     St Petersburg                     7pm

Wednesday     July 11             Winner 59 v winner 60     Moscow (Luzhniki)           7pm


THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF              

Saturday          July 14    Losers of two semi-finals     St Petersburg                          3pm



Sunday            July 15    Winners of two-semi-finals     Moscow (Luzhniki)              4pm