Gooooaal! Get ready, because the sports world is about to go crazy for the FIFA World Cup. Find out how to watch and get all the need-to-know facts before the soccer extravaganza kicks off!
The World Cup runs from June 14 to July 15. For one glorious month, the world comes together, united by a shared love of a single sport (unless you’re American, but more on that later.) The 2018 FIFA World Cup, taking place in Russia, starts on June 14 at 11:00 AM ET (18:00 Local time) with the host country taking on Saudi Arabia. From there, 32 countries will square off in the group stages, leading into a nail-biting knockout round. It all culminates in the final, emanating from Luzhniki Stadium on July 15. Who will be the last team standing? Fans better tune into watch.
Fox Sports is the home of the World Cup. Having paid more than $400 million to air the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, the only way for those in the U.S. to watch is via Fox Sports (and Fox Sports 1.) The games will be available on the Fox Sports streaming portal and on the Fox Sports app and yes, they require a television subscription account in order to watch. Here’s the full TV schedule of the games.
The United States is sitting this one out. For the first time since 1986, the United States will not play in the men’s World Cup. The US National Men’s Team finished fifth in the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) standings after an Oct. 2017 loss to Trinidad & Tobago (who finished sixth in the standings, per CBS Sports.) Ghana, the US’s nemesis in the prior two world cups, didn’t quality, and this year’s tournament will be without Chile, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The teams that did qualify are: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France, Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran, Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia
What’s this about an opening ceremony? Though Nicky Jam, Will Smith and Era Istrefi’s “Live It Up” is the official World Cup song, Robbie Williams will headline the Opening Ceremony, happening thirty minutes before the first game. Around 500 dancers, gymnasts and trampolinists will also be on hand, according to the Telegraph.
The 2018 FIFA #WorldCup begins in exactly 24 hours time!
Reply with an emoji to express how excited you are 🙌 pic.twitter.com/MoO10IHWTi
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 13, 2018
So, who are the favorites to win this year? Though the 2018 FIFA World Cup has teams like Egypt, Iceland, and Panama playing, giving the idea that it’s the “Year of the Underdog,” a lot are favoring the same ol’ soccer standards: Germany, Brazil, France and Spain. Of course, this is the World Cup. Anything can happen.