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Putin opens 2018 World Cup draw ceremony in Moscow

Football
Fri, 01 Dec 2017
AFP
1 of 2

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Friday opened the ceremony for the 2018 World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow.

"Our country is looking forward to the championship and intends to hold it at the highest level," Putin said in the televised address.

"We have loved this sport a long time, with a strong affection that stretches across the country," he said, promising to "do everything for (the championship) to be a grand sports festival."

"I am sure that the forthcoming World Cup will be a huge factor in the development of the sport both in the Russian regions and throughout the whole world."

The football world descended upon Moscow to find out who will play who, when and where at the competition next year.

The setting, by Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral, could scarcely be grander.

The success of the tournament is a matter of personal pride for Putin after the Russian strongman helped wrest the June 14-July 15 competition from England in an ugly 2010 battle before relations with the West dramatically collapsed over Ukraine.

The group line-ups for the 2018 World Cup:

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

The complete fixture list for the 2018 World Cup (all times GMT):

Thursday, June 14

(1500) Russia v Saudi Arabia, Moscow (Luzhniki)

Friday, June 15

(1200) Egypt v Uruguay, Yekaterinburg

(1500) Morocco v Iran, Saint Petersburg

(1800) Portugal v Spain, Sochi

Saturday, June 16

(1000) France v Australia, Kazan

(1300) Argentina v Iceland, Moscow (Spartak)

(1600) Peru v Denmark, Saransk

(1900) Croatia v Nigeria, Kaliningrad

Sunday, June 17

(1200) Costa Rica v Serbia, Samara

(1500) Germany v Mexico, Moscow (Luzhniki)

(1800) Brazil v Switzerland, Rostov-on-Don

Monday, June 18

(1200) Sweden v South Korea, Nizhni Novgorod

(1500) Belgium v Panama, Sochi

(1800) Tunisia v England, Volgograd

Tuesday, June 19

(1200) Poland v Senegal, Moscow (Spartak)

(1500) Colombia v Japan, Saransk

(1800) Russia v Egypt, Saint Petersburg

Wednesday, June 20

(1200) Portugal v Morocco, Moscow (Luzhniki)

(1500) Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, Rostov-on-Don

(1800) Iran v Spain, Kazan

Thursday, June 21

(1200) France v Peru, Yekaterinburg

(1500) Denmark v Australia, Samara

(1800) Argentina v Croatia, Nizhni Novgorod

Friday, June 22

(1200) Brazil v Costa Rica, Saint Petersburg

(1500) Nigeria v Iceland, Volgograd

(1800) Serbia v Switzerland, Kaliningrad

Saturday, June 23

(1200) Belgium v Tunisia, Moscow (Spartak)

(1500) Germany v Sweden, Sochi

(1800) South Korea v Mexico, Rostov-on-Don

Sunday, June 24

(1200) England v Panama, Nizhni Novgorod

(1500) Japan v Senegal, Yekaterinburg

(1800) Poland v Colombia, Kazan

Monday, June 25

(1400) Saudi Arabia v Egypt, Volgograd

(1400) Uruguay v Russia, Samara

(1800) Spain v Morocco, Kaliningrad

(1800) Iran v Portugal, Saransk

Tuesday, June 26

(1400) Denmark v France, Moscow (Luzhniki)

(1400) Australia v Peru, Sochi

(1800) Nigeria v Argentina, Saint Petersburg

(1800) Iceland v Croatia, Rostov-on-Don

Wednesday, June 27

(1400) South Korea v Germany, Kazan

(1400) Mexico v Sweden, Yekaterinburg

(1800) Serbia v Brazil, Moscow (Spartak)

(1800) Switzerland v Costa Rica, Nizhni Novgorod

Thursday, June 28

(1400) Japan v Poland, Volgograd

(1400) Senegal v Colombia, Samara

(1800) England v Belgium, Kaliningrad

(1800) Panama v Tunisia, Saransk

Saturday, June 30

Round of 16

(1400) Group C winners v Group D runners-up, Kazan (R1)

(1800) Group A winners v Group B runners-up, Sochi (R2)

Sunday, July 1

Round of 16

(1400) Group B winners v Group A runners-up, Moscow (Luzhniki) (R5)

(1800) Group D winners v Group C runners-up, Nizhni Novgorod (R6)

Monday, July 2

Round of 16

(1400) Group E winners v Group F runners-up, Samara (R3)

(1800) Group G winners v Group H runners-up, Rostov-on-Don (R4)

Tuesday, July 3

Round of 16

(1400) Group F winners v Group E runners-up, Saint Petersburg (R7)

(1800) Group H winners v Group G runners-up, Moscow (Spartak) (R8)

Friday, July 6

Quarter-finals

(1400) Winner of R1 v Winner of R2, Nizhni Novgorod (Q1)

(1800) Winner of R3 v Winner of R4, Kazan (Q2)

Saturday, July 7

Quarter-finals

(1400) Winner of R7 v Winner of R8, Samara (Q3)

(1800) Winner of R5 v Winner of R6, Sochi (Q4)

Tuesday, July 10

Semi-final

(1800) Winners of Q1 v Winners of Q2, Saint Petersburg

Wednesday, July 11

Semi-final

(1800) Winners of Q3 v Winners of Q4, Moscow (Luzhniki)

Saturday, July 14

(1400) Third-place play-off, Saint Petersburg

Sunday, July 15

(1500) Final, Moscow (Luzhniki)

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