World Cup 2018: Football showpiece set to begin in Russia

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off today with the match between the host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The Group A match will be played at Luzhniki Stadium in Russian capital Moscow and it will begin at 6 p.m local time (1500GMT).

British pop star Robbie Williams will hit the stage at the World Cup’s opening ceremony, FIFA had previously said Monday on its website.

World football’s governing body said Williams will entertain the crowd at Luzhniki Stadium before the opening match of the tournament.

A total of 32 teams will be competing in the World Cup, which will end on July 15.

During the competition, there will be 64 matches in the tournament with four teams each competing in eight groups.

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The World Cup will be held in 11 cities and the group matches will conclude on June 28. Group leaders and runners-up will advance to the last 16.

The last 16 matches will be held on June 30 and July 1, 2 and 3.

The winners of round of 16 will play their quarter final matches on July 6 and 7.

Semi-finals will be played on July 10 and 11 and the play-off for third place will be held on July 14 in Saint Petersburg.

The Russia 2018 final will be on July 15 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

World Cup groups are as follows:

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

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