The next World Cup is nearly upon us. Russia has been making preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with most events being held in Sochi. Russian President Putin has been open about the preparations, including a special Fan Passport Centre and the reconstruction of the Fisht Stadium. Many of the World Cup host cities in the past have actually won the World Cup. It is possible that Russia could have an edge when playing on home ground?
When is World Cup 2018?
The FIFA World Cup is held once every four years. It’ll be held over one month, from June 14th to July 15th, in Russia.
11 Host Cities for World Cup
Russia chose 11 different cities to be the venues for World Cup 2018. While that amount seems excessive, it is certainly allowed according to the rules of FIFA. These cities are Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Sochi, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg.Since some of the facilities are being updated, such as Fisht Stadium, it’s unlikely that every member of the Russia team has played at all venues in the past.
Of these, two of the venues are located in the capital city of Moscow. There will be a total of twelve different stadiums played in these eleven cities. If we base it on venues alone, then all the countries playing the World Cup should have an equal advantage.
What’s Happening in May?
The time crunch is on to get everything prepared for the World Cup games. The president will be meeting in Sochi with the Supervisory Board of the Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee. The main topic will be to focus on the readiness of all stadiums, considering that the games are little over a month away. There are also other necessary issues to discuss that are related to the game, including transport, medical, support, and other information related to the games ahead.
The Fisht Stadium is perhaps the venue that is undergoing the most upgrades. This is located in Sochi and will host many of the matches on the schedule.
There will be a World Cup Fan Passport Centre that the President Putin will also visit. He’ll also be meeting with the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino.
How Many Cities Have Won World Cup in the Past?
In the past, six countries have won the World Cup. That’s out of twenty games played. Note that there were two cancelled games in 1942 and 1946 due to WWII. That’s six games out of twenty played where the hosting city has won. These can seem like incredible odds.
The winning countries include Uruguay, who won in 1930, which was the first ever World Cup. In 1938, Italy hosted and won the games the following year. In 1966, England hosted and won their games. In 1974, Germany was host and won that year. In 1978, Argentina was host and won the following year. In 1998, France was host and winner of the games. They were the last hosting country to win the games.
Does Russia Really Have an Advantage?
Even though it’s been 1998 since a hosting country has won their games, it actually wasn’t that long ago, considering World Cup is only held once every four years.
We can be assured that Russia made a bid for the games being fully aware of the fact that they could have a good 30% chance of winning the Sochi World Cup 2018, as they would fully understand the advantage that they have.
However, spreading the games over several venues may be alarming for those who are routing for the Russians this year. But when the 2014 games were played in Brazil, they also had twelve different venues. South Africa had fifteen. When France won back in 1998, they played at ten different venues. So, it’s possible that the fewer venues there are, the greater the advantage for the hosting country. And, perhaps for this reason, FIFA encourages that games be played at multiple stadiums in the host country now.
Whether or not Russia has a slight advantage at the World Cup games in June, one thing is for certain, the games are going to be fun and exciting to watch. Hopefully all of Russia’s hard work at preparing their twelve different stadiums for the games will provide fair but challenging venues for every team on the roster at the 2018 World Cup Games.