Last Update 1:36
Saturday, 21 September 2019

World Cup draw offers welcome distraction for Russia

Reuters , Thursday 30 Nov 2017
Russia
a general view of the Kazan Arena stadium in Kazan, Russia. (Photo: AP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2415
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2415

Russia will host the 2018 World Cup draw on Friday, the glittering ceremony providing a welcome distraction to the unrelenting diet of doping and corruption news that has sullied the nation's sporting reputation in recent years.

The draw ceremony will give Russia the chance to showcase the cities and stadiums that will host the 32 teams next June and July, with 1986 Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker and Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya the main presenters.

In a new simplified format, the teams will be placed in pots one to four from highest to lowest FIFA ranking with the exception of Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, who are automatically placed in pot one alongside the top seeds.

Each pot will be emptied one by one into eight groups -- Group A to Group H -- which will contain four teams each. Two non-European teams from the same confederation cannot be in the same group to avoid geographic clashes.

With 14 qualified European teams there cannot be more than two European teams in the same group.

PREPARATIONS

While the draw ceremony, which the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin could attend, will focus on the positive aspects of the tournament, it will also serve as a reminder of the potential problems, notably concerns over racist and discriminatory behaviour and hooliganism.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino warned this week that referees will have the power to stop or even abandon World Cup matches if such incidents take place.

The authorities have said that World Cup preparations are generally on track but there have been some construction delays, including on the new stadium in Samara.

Work on the 45,000-seat venue, which will host four group stage matches, a match in the round-of-16 and a quarter-final, has been plagued by delays over recent months.

Authorities have pledged the venue would be completed on time.

FIFA said that around 750,000 tickets have been allocated in the first phase of sales, with the second phase beginning next week.

Russian fans have acquired the most tickets, with American fans in second place even though the country did not qualify for the tournament. Brazil, Germany, China and Mexico are also among the leading nations for purchases, FIFA said.

"We're happy with the number of tickets we've allocated," Falk Eller, the head of FIFA ticketing, told Reuters on Thursday.

"Of course we are also glad that the operation went quite well, no technical glitches, no problems."

All World Cup ticket holders are required to obtain a personalised fan-ID, allowing authorities to screen them and keep hooligans away from matches.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.