That’s our regularly updated flow of World Cup 2018 short news about tickets, prices, forecasts, stadiums, fans’ stay in Russia and travelling throughout the country as well as jokes and anecdotes. Some St. Petersburg-related news are linked to larger posts.
For the first time in the World Cups’ history, the opening match will be played by teams with the lowest positions in the FIFA rating among the participants: Russia (65th place) and Saudi Arabia (63rd place). They will meet in Moscow on June 14.
Representative of the FARE said they will write a guide for LGBR football fans who are going to visit Russia to warn them about types of behavior which Russians don’t like. First of all, it’s strongly recommended to avoid holding hands in public, the Guardian writes. Well, the FARE is right to some degree, as it’s not common in Russia to see two men holding hands or demonstrating their close relationships in any other way. Moreover, it’s forbidden by law, though no any LGBT people have been accused of or fined for that. Gays may face aggression from Orthodox activists as it happened to famous Austrian musical band Belphegor. Though two girls holding hands will likely go unnoticed.
Ragnar Sigurdsson (Ragnar Sigurðsson), Icelandic international defender, said in an interview with Russian news agency R-Sport that he would like Russian international team to be Iceland’s rival during the group stage as the chances for the Icelanders to come to play-offs are better in this case. “If we talk about advancing as further as possible, I’d choose the Russian team. Sorry, guys”, said Sigurdsson, now playing for Russia’s FC Rubin.
At the Euro 2016, Russia took 15th place of 16 participants with 1 draw with England and two defeats against Slovakia (1-2) and Wales (0-3) with aggregated 2-6.
Referees are entitled to stop games of the World Cup 2018 in cases of acts of racism by fans.
8.1 million flowers will be planted in St. Petersburg before the start of the World Cup 2018.
Russian students in host cities will be forced to leave their dormitories at the end of May as police and other securities will be accommodated there for the period of the tournament. Russian authorities say that student have nothing to worry about as all matters were envisaged and settled in advance. Students deny that any prior proper planning was implemented as many of them paid for their rooms till the end of July and were going to live in them throughout the summer. That’s an obviously great mistake of the authorities who should have thought over it a few years ago.
The St. Petersburg’s government has reserved 34,000 rooms in hotels against 14,000 required by FIFA. 50% of these rooms have already been booked. As we wrote, the Russian government has set price limits for accommodation for the WC 2018.
The oldest volunteer for the WC 2018 is more than 80 years old.
Russian national team is the worst in the FIFA’s ranking with 65th place, the best is (of course) Germany, №1 in the ranking.
More than 750,000 tickets for WC 2018 games have been sold at the moment. More than half was bought by Russia, followed by Argentines, Mexicans, Americans, Brazilians, Colombians, Chinese, Germans, Indians and Australians.
The most expensive team by the overall transfer value of its players (according to Trasfermarkt.de) is Brazil (671,5 million euro), followed by Spain (643 mln), Germany (636,5 mln), France (636,5). The team Russia is 17th (138,6 mln), the cheapest is Panama (just 5,25 mln).
Former Arsenal (London) and Zenit St. Petersburg’s player and Russian international, now playing for Kairat (Kazakhstan) Andrey Arshavin said he thinks that France has the best chance to win the WC 2018. “It’s a good young team with strong players”, he said in an interview.
Moscow traffic department staff will be trained to speak English (at least standard phrases) to be able to help football fans on the capital’s roads (fans will definitely need it).
St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko ordered to establish a specialized sobering center for drunken football fans to separate them from “normal people” in ordinary hospitals.
Booking for free trains for football fans is opened. You can book your train between host cities here.
River open-top ships will be cruising along the Moskva river in Moscow.