FIFA World Cup Starts With Colourful Ceremony

A photo taken on May 21, 2018 shows FIFA World Cup 2018 mascot Zabivaka, placed in front of the Nizhny Novgorod Arena in Nizhny Novgorod. - the stadium will host four group matches, Round of 16 game and a quarter-final football match of the FIFA World Cup 2018. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty Images

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is almost here and all eyes will be on Russia on Thursday as the tournament gets under way with the opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The traditional curtain-raiser will probably lack the flair and flamboyance of the ceremony that kicked off the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but it is still worth a watch to get into the mood ahead of the first game.

After the ceremony, the action begins for real as hosts Russia kick off the tournament against Saudi Arabia.

Here's a look at how you can watch all the action, followed by a look at what to expect in Moscow.


Venue: Luzhniki Stadium

Date: Thursday, June 14

Time: 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET

TV Info: ITV (UK), Fox (U.S.)

Live Stream: ITV HubFox Sports


World Cup 2018 Opening Ceremony

There will be a variety of performers at the opening ceremony of the World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium, which will host the first game and the final on Sunday, July 15.

The Luzhniki is Russia's national stadium and the biggest in the country with a capacity of 81,000. Here's a glimpse of where the opening ceremony will take place.

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

The Luzhniki Stadium 😍 Just 50 days until the #WorldCup kicks off at this amazing stadium 🙌

The headline act will be none other than Will Smith. The American has recorded the official anthem with Nicky Jam and Kosovan pop singer Era Istrefi:

B/R Football @brfootball

Now this is the story…

Singer Robbie Williams has also said he will be performing:

Robbie Williams @robbiewilliams

Very excited to be returning to Russia to perform at the opening of the @FIFAWorldCup - tune in early on Thursday for an unforgettable show! #WorldCup

However, it will not be all glitz and glamour, as the ceremony is also expected to embrace local culture and traditions.

Football journalist Collins Okinyo said it would be fairly modest:

Collins Okinyo @bedjosessien

Russia has organized a rather modest FIFA World Cup opening ceremony which plenty of local cultures on display. The Opening Ceremony will take place 2 hours before the first game between Russia vs Saudi Arabia starting at around 04:00 p.m Local time.

Also in attendance will be the official World Cup mascot Zabivaka the wolf:

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

We’d like you to say hello to a new friend: Zabivaka the wolf! 🐺 The Russian people have chosen him to be their 2018 #WorldCup mascot!

Opening ceremonies tend to be colourful events that are often more memorable when things go wrong (think Diana Ross missing a penalty at the 1994 World Cup). 

Source :

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