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FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday

Russia takes on Saudi Arabia in opener


Wednesday 13 June, 2018 06:44:36 pm

FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday

Dhaka, June 13 (UNB) – The long-awaited 32-nation FIFA World Cup 2018 begins on Thursday with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the opening match at the 80,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow amid huge enthusiasm among millions of soccer fans across the world.

The match will kick off at 9pm Bangladesh time.

World best 32 football playing nations, split into eight groups, will participate in the biggest show on earth missed by four-time champions Italy, 2010 finalist Netherlands, two-time Copa champions Chile and the USA while Saudi Arabia returned to the World Cup after 2002.   

The 30-minute glittering opening ceremony will begin at 8:30 pm (BST) with 500 local performers, including dancers, gymnasts and trampolinists, rendering the show.

Brazil's two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo will show off the trophy to 80,000 fans inside the stadium.

World Cup organisers earlier announced that British singer Robbie Williams will perform at the World Cup opening ceremony on Thursday. In the 1990s, Williams was a part of the pop group “Take That.”

Robbie Williams will open the World Cup programme with Russia soprano Aida Garifullina joining the English singer for what FIFA has described as a "musical extravaganza".

A fireworks display is set to bring the ceremony to a close before the World Cup competition returns four years on from Mario Gotze's decisive contribution in Brazil.

Bangladesh U-12 boy Rafi is going to create a history in the opening ceremony of 21st FIFA World Cup as Ambassador of Bangladesh. He will carry the national flag of Bangladesh accompanied by Bangladeshi young journalist Shams alongside the budding footballers of some 211 countries across the world in the ceremony.

Bangladeshi budding footballer Rafi, now in Russia Under FIFA Football For Friendship programme, also played for Galapagos Sea Lions team alongside the players of six countries -- China, Cyprus, Liberia, Anguilla, Ivory Coast and Turks & Caicos Island at Spartak Stadium in Moscow and scored six goals in the three matches on Tuesday ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Meanwhile, World Cup fever grabbed capital Dhaka and all over the country as the flags of two favoruite teams -– Brazil and Argentina – have already hoisted atop roofs, shops, road islands and important points of the city and other areas.

Grouping and Fixture of FIFA World Cup Russia’2018



Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan



GROUP STAGE               
Date:     Match    Venue    Kick-off
Thursday June 14     
Russia v Saudi Arabia (A)     Moscow (Luzhniki)     4pm GMT
Friday June 15     Egypt v Uruguay (A)     Ekaterinburg     1pm
Friday June 15     Morocco v Iran (B)     St Petersburg     4pm
Friday June 15     Portugal v Spain (B)     Sochi     7pm
Saturday June 16     France v Australia (C)     Kazan     11am
Saturday June 16     Argentina v Iceland (D)     Moscow (Spartak)     2pm
Saturday June 16     Peru v Denmark (C)     Saransk     5pm
Saturday June 16     Croatia v Nigeria (D)     Kaliningrad     8pm
Sunday June 17     Costa Rica v Serbia (E)     Samara     1pm
Sunday June 17     Germany v Mexico (F)     Moscow (Luzhniki)     4pm
Sunday June 17     Brazil v Switzerland (E)     Rostov-on-Don     7pm
Monday June 18     Sweden v South Korea (F)     Nizhny Novgorod     1pm
Monday June 18     Belgium v Panama (G)     Sochi     4pm
Monday June 18     Tunisia v England (G)     Volgograd     7pm
Tuesday June 19     Poland v Senegal (H)     Moscow (Spartak)     1pm
Tuesday June 19     Colombia v Japan (H)     Saransk     4pm
Tuesday June 19     Russia v Egypt (A)     St Petersburg     7pm
Wednesday June 20     Portugal v Morocco (B)     Moscow (Luzhniki)     1pm
Wednesday June 20     Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A)     Rostov-on-Don     4pm
Wednesday June 20     Iran v Spain (B)     Kazan     7pm
Thursday June 21     France v Peru (C)     Ekaterinburg     1pm
Thursday June 21     Denmark v Australia (C)     Samara     4pm
Thursday June 21     Argentina v Croatia (D)     Nizhny Novgorod     7pm
Friday June 22     Brazil v Costa Rica (E)     St Petersburg     1pm
Friday June 22     Nigeria v Iceland (D)     Volgograd     4pm
Friday June 22     Serbia v Switzerland (E)     Kaliningrad     7pm
Saturday June 23     Belgium v Tunisia (G)     Moscow (Spartak)     1pm
Saturday June 23     Germany v Sweden (F)     Sochi     4pm
Saturday June 23     South Korea v Mexico (F)     Rostov-on-Don     7pm
Sunday June 24     England v Panama (G)     Nizhny Novgorod     1pm
Sunday June 24     Japan v Senegal (H)     Ekaterinburg     4pm
Sunday June 24     Poland v Colombia (H)     Kazan     7pm
Monday June 25     Uruguay v Russia (A)     Samara     3pm
Monday June 25     Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A)     Volgograd     3pm
Monday June 25     Spain v Morocco (B)     Kaliningrad     7pm
Monday June 25     Iran v Portugal (B)     Saransk     7pm
Tuesday June 26     Denmark v France (C)     Moscow (Luzhniki)     3pm
Tuesday June 26     Australia v Peru (C)     Sochi     3pm
Tuesday June 26     Nigeria v Argentina (D)     St Petersburg     7pm
Tuesday June 26     Iceland v Croatia (D)     Rostov-on-Don     7pm
Wednesday June 27     South Korea v Germany (F)     Kazan     3pm
Wednesday June 27     Mexico v Sweden (F)     Ekaterinburg     3pm
Wednesday June 27     Serbia v Brazil (E)     Moscow (Spartak)     7pm
Wednesday June 27     Switzerland v Costa Rica (E)     Nizhny Novgorod     7pm
Thursday June 28     Japan v Poland (H)     Volgograd     3pm
Thursday June 28     Senegal v Colombia (H)     Samara     3pm
Thursday June 28     England v Belgium (G)     Kaliningrad     7pm
Thursday June 28     Panama v Tunisia (G)     Saransk     7pm
LAST 16               
Saturday June 30     1C v 2D (Match 50)    Kazan     3pm 
Saturday June 30     1A v 2B (Match 49)    Sochi     7pm 
Sunday July 1     1B v 2A (Match 51)    Moscow     3pm 
Sunday July 1     1D v 2C (Match 52)    Nizhny Novgorod     7pm 
Monday July 2     1E v 2F (Match 53)    Samara     3pm 
Monday July 2     1G v 2H (Match 54)    Rostov-on-Don     7pm
Tuesday July 3     1F v 2E (Match 55)    St Petersburg     3pm
Tuesday July 3     1H v 2G (Match 56)    Moscow (Spartak)     7pm 
Friday July 6     Winner 49 v winner 50 (57)     Nizhny Novgorod     3pm
Friday July 6     Winner 53 v winner 54 (58)     Kazan     7pm 
Saturday July 7     Winner 55 v winner 56 (60)     Samara     3pm 
Saturday July 7     Winner 51 v winner 52 (59)     Sochi     7pm 
Tuesday July 10     Winner 57 v winner 58     St Petersburg     7pm
Wednesday July 11     Winner 59 v winner 60     Moscow (Luzhniki)     7pm
THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF               
Saturday July 14    Losers of two semi-finals     St Petersburg     3pm
Sunday July 15    Winners of two-semi-finals     Moscow (Luzhniki)     4pm