With approximately five months left until the big day, The World Cup is quickly approaching and excitement and anticipation are already in the air. This year, Russia will be hosting the annual celebration of 32 teams across the globe coming together to compete for the unmistakable gold trophy that has become a symbol of greatness in the game. The groups for the 2018 edition are now known and FIFA has already kicked off pre-tournament festivities, including the World Cup Trophy Tour, which is taking place for the fourth time.
The World Cup Trophy Tour takes place to hype fans and competitors up for the big event. On the tour, fans all around the world can see the original trophy up close as well as capturing a photo with it. The tour is said to be an “exciting and exclusive experience” for lovers of the game, who would otherwise only be able to see the trophy in Zurich at the World Football Museum if it wasn’t for this tour.
The tour first began in preparation for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, in which the trophy visited 29 countries. Before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the tour took in its greatest number of countries to date, visiting 90 destinations over 267 days. This year, the trophy is supposed to touch down in 91 cities across 51 countries and six continents. The tour began in September 2017 in Russia and continued to London to kick off the international portion.
The infrastructure for the World Cup must be ready by April 1 and the stadiums for the tournament must be commissioned by March and will be transferred under authority of the Local Organizing Committee on May 25. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said, “On the whole, we have a clear-cut schedule on the completion of work.” He continued, “We have enormous operational work ahead of us on the training of the personnel and preparations of bases, which will be accommodating national teams.” The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in 11 cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.