The 2018 FIFA World Cup finals will be hosted by Russia. The decision was taken by the FIFA Executive Committee in a vote in Zurich today.
Four European candidates – Belgium/Netherlands, England, Portugal/Spain and Russia – were in the running, following a bidding process which began in January 2009. The last FIFA World Cup to be held in Europe took place in Germany in 2006.
Matches are scheduled to be played in: Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Nizhny Novgorod, Podolsk, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St Petersburg, Volgograd, Yaroslavl and Moscow, where the final will be contested at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Europe was assured of welcoming the 2018 FIFA World Cup on its soil after the withdrawal of the last candidate committee from a non-European association was announced in mid-October. Brazil hosts the finals in 2014.
The 2022 edition will be staged in Qatar following a second vote by the FIFA Executive Committee. Australia, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar and the United States were the five candidates.
"I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Russia," said UEFA president Michel Platini. "The choice was particularly difficult because all of the bids, without exception, were of exceptional quality, as were the presentations made today. It was really professional and we felt a genuine passion from each of the candidates. They would all have deserved to win and UEFA is proud of its six national associations.
"Now, we are all going to support and help Russia, to enable us to experience the finest of World Cups in Europe in 2018. Congratulations as well to Qatar. I am certain that they will also be equal to the task of organising an unforgettable World Cup in 2022."
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