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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco


 

FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 ENTERS ROUND OF 16

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
30 Jun 2018




The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament played by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is now ongoing in Russia which started from June 14 and will end with the final match on July 15, 2018.

FIFA means Fédération Internationale de Football Association, French for "International Federation of Association Football" is the international governing body of association football, futsal, and beach soccer. FIFA organized football's major international tournaments, the World Cup which started in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which debuted in 1991.

The 2018 World Cup is the first one to be held in Eastern Europe, and the eleventh of such tournament held in Europe. For the first time the event takes place simultaneously on two continents, Europe and Asia. It is the most expensive World Cup ever at an estimated cost of over $14.2 billion.

The World Cup final tournament is joined in by 32 national teams, including 31 teams which underwent qualifying competitions and the host team which automatically qualified. Of the 32 teams presently participating, 20 were able to make it back-to-back after the last tournament in 2014, including defending champions Germany, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. Iceland became the smallest country in terms of population to reach the World Cup.

A total of 64 matches will be played in the duration of the tournament in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final game will take be held on July 15 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The defending champions, Germany, were eliminated in the group stage. It was the first time since 1938 that a German team did not advance from the first stage of a World Cup, and the fourth time in the last five World Cups that the defending champions were eliminated in the opening stage after France in 2002, Italy in 2010, and Spain in 2014.

Other teams which returned after absences of at least three tournaments include: Egypt, who returned after their last World Cup in 1990; Morocco, who last competed in 1998; Peru, returning after 1982; and Senegal, competing for the second time after reaching the quarter-finals in 2002.

It is the first time three Nordic countries: Denmark, Iceland and Sweden and four Arab nations: Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, have qualified for the World Cup.

Famous countries that failed to qualify include four-time champions Italy (for the first time since 1958) and three-time runners-up the Netherlands (for the first time since 2002), and four reigning continental champions: 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon, two-time Copa America champions and 2017 Confederations Cup runners-up Chile, 2016 OFC Nations Cup winners New Zealand, and 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions United States (for the first time since 1986). The other prominent streaks broken were for Ghana and Ivory Coast, who both failed to qualify after making it to the previous three tournaments.

The teams which entered the knockout stage or round of 16 are: Uruguay, Portugal, France, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Japan, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia, and England.


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