The 21st edition of the world cup starts today, with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. As the tournament begins, we talk about things you should know about the 2018 world cup.
International football is set to take over the sport over the next four weeks as Russia hosts the 21st FIFA World Cup. All the teams have landed in Russia, as they aim to claim the world cup glory this summer. 32 teams will battle it out on the field for the coveted world cup trophy.
Here, we tell you things you should know about the world cup 2018.
This world cup, we are going to see a lot of technologies being used to enhance the game, and make it easier for referees and coaches alike. How the technologies are being implemented in the game, however, is a different thing.
The 2018 edition would be the first time VAR (Video Assistant Referee) will be used during the matches. Using VAR, a referee can refer “match-changing moments” like goals, fouls and penalties to a video referee. The technology has been tried in club football, garnering mixed reaction. Many referees go into the world cup with no prior experience of working with a video referee.
Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems will also make its debut in the world cup. This would provide real-time analysis of player’s performances, and video footage from the games. Each team will be given three tablets, one for the analyst in the stands, one for the bench and one for the medical team.
The official communications partners for the world cup, TMS and Megafon, will also be trialling 5G network during the world cup.
5 things to know on players and teams
- This is the penultimate tournament with 32 teams. The 2026 FIFA World Cup, to be scheduled in Canada, USA and Mexico, will feature 48 teams.
- Among current players, Thomas Mueller (Germany) has scored the most goals in the world cups – 10
- Iceland is the smallest nation to qualify for a world cup – a population of 330,000.
- Russia will play Saudi Arabia in the world cup opener – Two teams with the lowest FIFA rankings among all the teams in this year’s world cup, 70th and 67th respectively.
- A FOURTH SUBSTITUTION will be allowed if the game goes beyond 90 minutes.
5 World Cup 2018 trivia
- England are the only team in Russia with all their players competing in the country’s own domestic league.
- English football clubs are also the most represented in the world cup – 124 players.
- Paul the Octopus became the trendsetter when he stood correct in his predictions during the 2010 world cup. For the 2018 World Cup, Achilles the deaf cat, who resides at St. Petersburg museum will predict the outcomes of world cup games. Tradition.
- Goldman Sachs have predicted Brazil to lift the world cup trophy. They also predicted a Messi-Ronaldo face-off as Portugal meet Argentina in the quarterfinal.
- Panama’s president declared a national holiday a day after their team qualified for the world cup. They’re grouped with England, Belgium and Tunisia.