The draw for the finals stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will take place on December 1, 2017, in Moscow, and the draw for the 20107 Confederations Cup – on November 26, 2016, in Kazan. It was reported after the meeting of Organizing Committee "Russia 2018" Board meeting with the FIFA representatives. The draw for the 2017 Confederations Cup will take place in Kazan Tennis Academy, the exact location of the draw for the 2018 World Cup final stage is still unknown. In addition, the dates of the workshop for teams participating in the final stage of the World Cup 2018 was also confirmed – February 27-28 in Sochi.
Final stage draw
31 teams that will participate in the final stage of the tournament will be known at the end of the qualification round of the 2018 World Cup. Russia already participates in the tournament as the host country. The draw for the final stage will determine 8 groups of 4 teams, each of which will hold 3 matches. At the end of the group stage national teams that took first and second places in the group will participate in 1/8 final.
Chairman of the Organizing Committee "Russia 2018", Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has promised to hold the draw at the highest level. "The experience gained by the Organizing Committee in the preparation and carrying out of preliminary draw for the World Cup, will be used in the organization of the following official measures of the tournament - the draw for the 2017 Confederations Cup and the draw for the final stage of the 2018 World Cup. I am sure we will be able to surpass our own achievements and surprise guests and fans with new unforgettable show," Mutko said.
2018 World Cup preliminary draw
The preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was held at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg on July 25, 2015. For the first time in the history of the World Cups the draw for preliminary qualifying rounds have registered all 208 national football associations, members of the FIFA (Russia has not filed an application, since it hosts the tournament). 141 teams in total attended the draw.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter attended the ceremony. Russian model Natalia Vodianova hosted the ceremony with TV host Dmitry Shepelev.
Former player of the Russian national team Alexei Smertin, former USSR goalkeeper Rinat Dasayev, double World Champion Ronaldo, former Russian forward Alexander Kerzhakov, three-time winner of the Champions League Samuel Eto'o, former captain of Italian national team Fabio Cannavaro, the best player at the 2010 World Cup Diego Forlan; retired German former footballer who scored the first golden goal in the history of major international football Oliver Bierhoff, the winner of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup Predrag Rajkovic, captain of the Portuguese national beach football team Madjer held the draw.
Ballet Theatre under the direction of choreographer Boris Eifman performed during the draw, as well as opera singers of the Mariinsky Theatre, saxophonist Igor Butman. The show ended with a performance by Polina Gagarina and the children's choir, which had as many members as the number of the teams competing for participation in the World Cup. Each member of the choir had a flag of a country on the shirt.
Preparation for the Confederations Cup
The coming 2016 will be the year of the 2017 Confederations Cup for the Organizing Committee "Russia 2018". The Confederations Cup matches which will be held from June 17 to July 2, on 4 out of 12 stadiums of the World Cup - in Kazan, Sochi, St. Petersburg and "Spartak" stadium in Moscow. On February 3, 500 days before the start of the tournament, which is informally called the "Festival of Champions", the official emblem of the Confederations Cup will be presented in Moscow.
Renovated Fisht Olympic Stadium will open in summer. Construction works of the last of the four tournament arenas - St. Petersburg stadium “New Zenit Stadium” will be completed in the fall, which will host the opening and the final matches of the Confederations Cup.
More than half of the tournament’s participants are already identified: the Russian national team will participate in the tournament as the host country. In addition the reigning world champion Germany, winner of the 2015 Copa America Chile, the Asian Cup champion Australia, as well as the winner of the last CONCACAF Gold Cup Mexico.
Two more participants if the 2017 Confederations Cup will be announced in June and July 2016, when the winner of the European Championship and the OFC Nations Cup will be determined. In early 2017 the winner of the Africa Cup of Nations will receive the last, eighth spot.
FIFA general secretary Markus Kuttner said that preparations for the 2017 Confederations Cup is going according to schedule. "For us, 2015 became a key stage in the planning and operational preparation towards the 2018 World Cup. There is still a lot of work, especially in the preparation of infrastructure - in fact, there are only 656 days before the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which will be a major test on the eve of the World Cup. In general, preparations are going according to schedule, but it is important to stay focused and maintain a harmonious collaboration with the host cities in order to ensure that all the elements of the tournament are ready for the teams and fans who will come to enjoy the magnificent spectacle in 2017 and 2018," Kuttner said.
The next meeting of the Board of the Organizing Committee "Russia-2018" with the FIFA participation will be held in February 2016.