13.6.2018 : Spain have sacked Julen Lopetegui, the head coach just before the start of the World Cup. Spain will play their opening match against Portugal on Friday.

Julen Lopetegui joined Real Madrid on a three year after Zinedan Zidean left few days back. The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said it had dismissed the 51-year-old coach because the negotiation occurred "without any information to the RFEF".

Fernando Hierro, the director of Spain Sporting will join the team shortly to take charge for the World Cup.


FIFA MEDIA RELEASE - 13.6.2018 : A few minutes before Russia and Saudi Arabia kick-off the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ this Thursday at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, FIFA Legend and 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner Iker Casillas will bring on to the pitch the FIFA World CupTM Original Trophy in its newly designed travel case by Louis Vuitton. Casillas will be accompanied by Russian supermodel and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova.

“The people of Russia are very excited to welcome the FIFA World Cup. I am proud to represent my country on this day and the dream that the FIFA World Cup Trophy represents,” Vodianova.

The celebrated FIFA World Cup™ Original Trophy measures 36 cm in height, weighs 6.175 kg and is made of solid 18-carat gold with a base of semi-precious malachite. To accommodate this prestigious prize, Louis Vuitton has produced a special-order travel case – handmade by master craftsmen at the historic Asnières workshop near Paris.

The case created for Russia is covered in beautiful, lightweight yet hardwearing, laser-engraved Monogram Titanium. The trunk’s eight corners are protected with Louis Vuitton’s celebrated natural cowhide leather, and the lock and six clasps are made in ruthenium, a strong dark-grey metal, which has the chemical symbol Ru and was named after this year’s FIFA World Cup™ host.

Robbie Williams, Aida Garifullina and Ronaldo to brighten up 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony

FIFA MEDIA RELEASE-11.06.2018 On 14 June, just a few moments before Russia and Saudi Arabia kick off the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, three international stars will thrill the fans in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Global music icon Robbie Williams will entertain the stadium crowd and the millions watching around the world, with celebrated Russian soprano Aida Garifullina joining him during the musical extravaganza. The football glory that all players will be hoping to achieve on Russian soil will be represented by Brazil’s two-time FIFA World Cup champion Ronaldo.

“I’m so happy and excited to be going back to Russia for such a unique performance. I’ve done a lot in my career, and opening the FIFA World Cup to 80,000 football fans in the stadium and many millions all over the world is a boyhood dream,” says Robbie Williams. “We’d like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russia, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show.”

The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony will have a slightly different format compared to previous editions of the tournament. This time, the ceremony will focus on musical acts and will take place much closer to kick-off, just half an hour before the start of the match, which is scheduled for 18:00 (local time). One thing will remain the same, however: the underlying theme of celebrating not only football but also the host country, this time with a touching performance by one of Russia’s most acclaimed young voices, Aida Garifullina.

“I never imagined I would be part of this huge celebration, the World Cup, happening in my own country,” says the soloist from the Vienna State Opera. “And, on 15 July, we will find out for whom this precious dream will come true, back on the same stage, after a month-long festival of football in Russia.”

“The opening match is always a very symbolic one – it is that instant when you realise that the big moment you, as a player or fan, have been waiting for four years has finally arrived. No one knows what will happen in the four weeks of the tournament, but everyone is sure that it will be memorable,” believes ‘o Fenômeno’ Ronaldo. “Of course it is also an emotional one for the hosts. After so much hard work, suddenly the whole world is gathered in your backyard to celebrate their love for football. I felt that in Brazil four years ago and I am now happy to share this excitement with the Russians as well.”

Russia’s Channel One will produce the show, and the creative concept will once again be developed by Felix Mikhailov, who directed the main ceremonies held throughout the entire 2018 FIFA World Cup journey – from the Preliminary Draw in 2015 right up to the closing act ahead of the final on 15 July.

"We are happy to introduce a new format for the FIFA World Cup opening and closing ceremonies, in terms of their duration and start time closer to kick-off,” says Mikhailov. “At the same time, the action will extend beyond the stadium, encompassing the city and the area around the Luzhniki Stadium. The co-director of the opening ceremony will be my friend Ilya Averbukh, who has added new colour to the spectacle on the pitch. And, of course, our show will be about football and love.”



FIFA MEDIA RELEASE-01.06.2018 : Football greats Carlos Alberto Parreira, Emmanuel Amunike, Bora Milutinović, Alessandro Nesta, Andy Roxburgh and Marco van Basten will join FIFA's Technical Study Group (TSG) to provide technical and tactical insights into the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The group will be headed by Parreira, a FIFA World Cup-winning coach, who, along with Milutinovic, holds the record for coaching the highest number of different teams (five) at FIFA's showpiece event.

Asked about the upcoming World Cup, Parreira said: "I'm expecting to see football where teams play as teams and defend with as many players as possible, pressing and then breaking forward at speed. Very compact teams, with lots of players behind the ball, closing down space and playing at pace on the attack."

The full interview with Carlos Alberto Parreira is available here.

As indicated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Regulations, the TSG will be responsible for deciding on the following awards

Adidas Golden, Silver and Bronze Boots for the leading goalscorers (if two or more players score the same number of goals, the number of assists, as determined by the TSG members, will be decisive)

Adidas Golden, Silver and Bronze Balls for the best players

Adidas Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper

Young Player Award for the best player born on or after 1 January 1997

Fair Play Award (the TSG will determine the ranking at the end of the final competition)

At the conclusion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the TSG will produce a comprehensive technical report, including detailed statistics, which will be distributed among FIFA's member associations.

The TSG has been analysing FIFA's competitions since the 1966 FIFA World Cup.


fifa world cup Russia 2018 news

FIFA MEDIA RELEASE - 25.05.2018: After years of hard work, the Host Nation is gearing up to warmly welcome all the incoming football fans and competing teams. The Russian national team briefly interrupted their training camp to greet their soon-to-be competitors in unique fashion: by dressing up in the playing kits of every country playing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and posing for a squad photo.

“We welcome all the teams who are coming here for the World Cup,” said goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, wearing the shirt of reigning world champions Germany. “I think they’ll quickly be convinced that Russia is 100% ready for their arrival. Our country has staged plenty of major sporting events and important matches already. I hope every player, coach and fan enjoys Russia and its hospitality.”

“I hope everyone likes Russia,” added defender Sergei Ignashevich, who holds the all-time record for Sbornaya caps. “It’s summer here, the weather is wonderful and the people are friendly. I’m sure you’ll be happy.” Videos and pictures are available for editorial purposes via the links on the right.



FIFA MEDIA RELEASE - 23.05.2018 : The most celebrated players in the world of football will be joined in Russia by some of the biggest stars of today's international music scene. As part of another exciting collaboration between FIFA and Sony Music, Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi will perform "Live It Up", the Official Song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ produced by DJ and songwriter Diplo.

Ahead of the final on 15 July, the music stars will warm up the 80,000 spectators at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium and around one billion people watching on TV just a few minutes before the two finalists come out on to the pitch. Until then, fans will have enough time to learn the lyrics as "Live It Up" will be released on multiple streaming platforms this Friday, 25 May. The FIFA World Cup Official Music Video will be available as of 7 June.

"It's an honour to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This global event brings people from all over the world together to cheer, laugh and experience magic. Collaborating with Nicky, Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavours and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance", said world-renowned Grammy Award-winning actor, songwriter and artist Will Smith. "I've never made a song this international, so many stars have come together to make a strong vibe", Diplo added.

"To record the Official Song for the FIFA World Cup is a lifetime achievement. Not many artists have the privilege of being able to say they've been part of this. I'm so proud and happy, I can say to my grandkids 'I've made it'," commented Nicky Jam, one of Latin music's most iconic names and a Latin Grammy Award winner.

"Being part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Official Song has been an incredible and exciting experience so far. Working alongside talented artists like Diplo, Will Smith and Nicky Jam, who I all have huge admiration for, has been amazing and so much fun. I'm a huge football fan too, so I can't wait for the World Cup to begin," noted rising pop sensation Era Istrefi.

The tradition of an Official Song dates back to the 1966 FIFA World Cup™ in England with a song for the first Official Mascot, "World Cup Willie". Since then, the Official Music Programme and the Official Mascot have become a more and more significant component of the event, providing an excellent opportunity for more than just football fans to identify with the world's biggest single-sport event.

"FIFA and Sony Music have enjoyed a successful cooperation on the Official Music Programme for years now. The synergy between football and music is striking, both stirring up fans' emotions across the globe. This song - with a world -class line-up worthy of the greatest show on Earth - embodies the excitement, the celebration and the unity that people all over the world will share during the 2018 FIFA World Cup," says Philippe Le Floc'h, FIFA Chief Commercial Officer.

"Sony Music has had a longstanding relationship with FIFA. When discussing the official music for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the objective that both organisations agreed on was a great song supported by an all-star line-up," added Afo Verde, Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Latin Iberia. "We are very excited that Will Smith, Nicky Jam, Diplo and Era Istrefi are part of the song and working hand in hand with FIFA and our artist community in providing the soundtrack for the biggest event in the world."

Official Songs at recent FIFA World Cups™ have included "Un'estate italiana" by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini in 1990, "Gloryland" by Daryl Hall with Sounds of Blackness in 1994, and "La Copa de la Vida" by Ricky Martin in 1998. In 2002, the Official Song was "Boom" by Anastacia, while Vangelis' vocal official anthem featured typical Korean and Japanese sonic elements. In 2006, "The Time of Our Lives" by the Il Divo quartet was a resounding success. Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" was the Official Song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa and, most recently, "We Are One (Ole Ola)" was the Official Song of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil.


fifa world cup Russia 2018 news
Kia Motors India selects 2 kids as Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) for 2018 FIFA World Cup

07.05.2018: FIFA MEDIA RELEASE : For any football fan, especially a kid there is nothing more worthwhile than living their passion in Mecca of football - the FIFA World Cup.

Kia Motors India is turning this dream into a reality for passionate Indian kids by taking them to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ as Official Match Ball Carriers. The unique initiative, brought to India for the first time by Kia Motors, FIFA’s official partner, will see six lucky children getting shortlisted and becoming part of the world’s largest sporting extravaganza. India's football captain Sunil Chhetri conducted the selection trials in New Delhi on Sunday and was delighted to see so much passion for the game in the country.


The OMBC initiative was launched on April 10 in India, inviting footballers in the age-group of 10 to 14, to showcase their skills and win a chance to go to Russia as OMBC. Each aspiring kid’s guardian was required to post a short video of their son or daughter in action on the official site, based on which 50 talented kids were invited to Delhi for the final selections.Six of them will eventually be shortlisted for the trips, with two of them going as OMBC and four as spectators.

A total of 64 children from across the world are selected to be Official Match Ball Carriers, with the lucky ones marching into the stadium and handing over the official ball before each match during the 2018 Fifa World Cup. The 50 eager kids, who were accompanied by their parents, left no stone unturned to showcase their skills and impress the country’s best footballer ever. The excitement was palpable as kids were tested on their footballing skills, their agility, attitude and confidence too.

Each kid had to demonstrate his ‘dribbling’, ‘juggling’ and ‘shooting’ skills and also had to answer a set of sports-related questions. There was fun, excitement and rivalry in the air as the parents cheered their children and encouraged them to win that ticket to Russia. The six chosen children will be introduced to India and the world at a glittering press conference later this month.


fifa world cup Russia 2018 news

07.05.2018: FIFA MEDIA RELEASE : With just a bit more than a months to go to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the line-up of the event’s regional supporters has been strengthened by a company that is already providing a great deal of services for fans attending the matches. Russian Railways has been announced as Official European Supporter of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, joining Alfa-Bank and Rostelecom in receiving brand association rights for the region.

The agreement was signed by Oleg Belozerov, General Director and Chairman of the Board of JSC Russian Railways, Philippe Le Floc'h, FIFA Chief Commercial Officer and Iain Downie, FIFA Director of Marketing Sales and Strategy.

Russian Railways will play a key role in the transportation operation around the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ matches. Fans have already booked half of the 440,000 seats available free of charge for ticket holders traveling between the Host Cities. In total, 728 additional long-distance trips on 31 routes have been scheduled between the opening and final matches. The free tickets can be ordered at and applicants should have purchased match tickets and registered for a Fan ID.

Russian Railways is also responsible for operating the 31 train stations located in all 11 Host Cities, which are currently being prepared to receive the guests in a safe and comfortable way.


fifa world cup Russia 2018 news
05.05.2018: FIFA MEDIA PRESS RELEASE : The FIFA Referees Committee has selected 13 Referees, who will act solely as Video Assistant Referees (VARS)during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

The selection criteria for theVideo Assistant Referees was primarily based on their experience as Video Match Officials in their respective National Associations and Confederation competitions, in addition to their successful participation in several preparatory seminars and FIFA competitions, where they enhanced their VAR knowledge and skills by using the system.

fifa world cup Russia 2018 news
During the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the 13 selected Video Match Officials will be appointed in each match.

In addition to the 13 Video Assistant Referees, some of the Referees and Assistant Referees who were selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (see list published on 29 March using the link below) will also act as Video Match Officials during FIFA’s main competition. These appointments will be made before the matches.