Football fans and coaches have always prayed for the option of one more substitution rather than the usual three, in the football games. Such an option becomes even more critical if there is an injury after a team has exhausted all its 3 substitutions, or the match has extended into extra time.
This will become possible at this year’s FIFA World Cup, however, with a rider that the substitute can come in only during the extra time. This and the controversial VAR (Video Assistant Referee) are some of the firsts in the upcoming World Cup. You can read more about VAR here.
Sri Lanka hosted the World Cup trophy earlier in January this year, as a part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola, and the fans got a chance to view football’s most coveted prize first-hand!
Let’s now have a look at a few more interesting facts you probably didn’t know about this edition of the tournament.
No Visa? No Worries!
No worries if you don’t have the visa to travel to Russia during the FIFA World Cup 2018! Russia has done away with the need of having a visa to enter the country during the prestigious tournament. All FIFA World Cup ticket holders will be allocated a fan ID, which would work as a special permit to enter and exit the country. However, you’d also require other relevant documents like proof of the ticket purchase and some other docs as agreed by FIFA.
Debut at 45!
Age is just a number when it comes to Essam el-Hadary, the Egyptian goalkeeper who is all set to make his World Cup debut at 45. He has already been named in the provisional squad for the tournament and will most likely make it to the final line up as well.
Having captained Egypt in all of the qualifying matches except one, he’d become the oldest person to play the tournament. Essam has represented his country in a total of 156 matches so far. Before him, it was Faryd Mondragon, the Colombian goalkeeper who at 43 years and 3 days took part in World Cup 2014, when he took the field against Japan in Brazil. A lot of people have been punting on the possibility of him achieving this feat. If you too are interested in World Cup betting but don’t know where to begin, you could make use of World Cup Free Bets to make a start.
9 out of the 12 stadiums that would be used during the FIFA World Cup have been constructed just for the grand event. The primary venue of the tournament – Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium – which will host the opening and the final games was completely renovated and reopened only recently in November, 2017. The tournament will take players to 11 different cities of the country.
Huge expansion efforts!
What do the authorities do if a stadium doesn’t have all the 35,000 seats demanded by FIFA? Build the extras outside of the stadium, and bring them in! That’s exactly what has been done in Ekaterinburg Arena, one of the 12 FIFA World Cup venues. The stadium only had 27,000 seats, so the authorities built bleacher structures extending outside of the original stadium, increasing the capacity to a whopping 45,000! The stadium was originally constructed during the 50s and is scheduled to host 4 group games. The makeshift arrangement will be done away with after these games!