MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. The Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was flawless and was held as planned without any troubles, General Director of the 2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Alexei Sorokin said.
"The ceremony was flawless, just like we had planned," he said. "There were no wrinkles, no unexpected surprises and everything worked out well."
The State Kremlin Palace in the Russian capital of Moscow hosted on Friday night the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fixing opponents in eight different groups made of 32 national football teams, which qualified for the much-anticipated quadrennial world football championship.
The ceremony was opened with speeches delivered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Retired English footballer Gary Lineker and journalist Maria Komandnaya became the ceremony’s hosts. Lineker was assisted by First Vice-President of the Russian Football Union Nikita Simonyan and World Cup champions from various periods Argentina’s Diego Maradona, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, France’s Laurent Blanc, England’s Gordon Banks, Brazil’s Cafu, Spain’s Carles Poyol, Germany’s Miroslav Klose and 2010 FIFA World Cup medalist Diego Forlan from Uruguay.
The ceremony’s guests included the chief coaches of 30 national teams that had qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, except for Uruguayan football manager Oscar Tabarez and the representative of Australia where the post of the head coach has been vacant after the resignation of Ange Postecoglou.
The ceremony’s musical part was hosted by popular Russian TV anchor Ivan Urgant.
Eleven cities across Russia will host the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.