15 May

2018 FIFA World Cup: What You Need To Know


For the game. For the world.

With the football action across most leagues done and dusted, all eyes will be shifted to an even bigger spectacle – the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup kicks off in Russia on the 14 June.

Mzansi’s football lovers will, unfortunately, have to either be a neutral supporter or pick another horse to back, as Bafana Bafana once again failed to qualify for the prestigious event. However, Africa has five representatives who have been drawn in tough groups, but the world will be aware of the fight the African teams show when the stakes are high.

There is one thing the FIFA World Cup has never been short of, and that is a handful of upsets and fairytale endings. The best part of it all is that South Africans can witness all the drama without having sleepless nights, as coverage times of the matches are quite decent.

Teams participating

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

Check out the top 10 goals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil:

Source: YouTube

Fixtures for the group stages (all times are South African Standard time)

14 June 2018

Russia vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 5pm
15 June 2018
Egypt vs Uruguay (Group A) – Ekateringburg, 2pm
Morocco vs Iran (Group B) – St. Petersburg, 5pm
Portugal vs Spain (Group B) – Sochi, 8pm

16 June 2018
France vs Australia (Group C) – Kazan, 12pm
Argentina vs Iceland (Group D) – Moscow (Spartak), 3pm
Peru vs Denmark (Group C) – Saransk, 6pm
Croatia vs Nigeria ( Group D) – Kaliningrad, 9pm

17 June 2018
Costa Rica vs Serbia (Group E) – Samara, 2pm
Germany vs Mexico (Group F) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 5pm
Brazil vs Switzerland (Group E) – Rostov-on-Don, 8pm

18 June 2018
Sweden vs South Korea (Group F) – Nizhny Novgorod, 2pm
Belgium vs Panama (Group G) – Sochi, 5pm
Tunisia vs England (Group G) – Volgograd, 8pm

19 June 2018
Colombia vs Japan (Group H) – Saransk, 2pm
Poland vs Senegal (Group H) – Moscow (Spartak), 5pm
Russia vs Egypt (Group A) – St. Petersburg, 8pm

20 June 2018
Portugal vs Morocco (Group B) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 2pm
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Rostov-on-Don, 5pm
Iran vs Spain (Group B) – Kazan, 8pm

21 June 2018
Denmark vs Australia (Group C) – Samara, 2pm
France vs Peru (Group C) – Ekaterinburg, 5pm
Argentina vs Croatia (Group D) – Nizhny Novgorod, 8pm

22 June 2018
Brazil vs Costa Rica (Group E) – St. Petersburg, 2pm
Nigeria vs Iceland (Group D) – Volgograd, 5pm
Serbia vs Switzerland (Group E) – Kaliningrad, 8pm

23 June 2018
Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) – Moscow (Spartak), 2pm
South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) – Rostov-on-Don, 5pm
Germany vs Sweden (Group F) – Sochi, 8pm

24 June 2018
England vs Panama (Group G) – Nizhny Novgorod, 2pm
Japan vs Senegal (Group H) – Ekaterinburg, 5pm
Poland vs Colombia (Group H) – Kazan, 8pm

25 June 2018
Uruguay vs Russia (Group A) – Samara, 4pm
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A) – Volgograd, 4pm
Spain vs Morocco (Group B) – Kaliningrad, 8pm
Iran vs Portugal (Group B) – Saransk, 8pm

26 June 2018
Denmark vs France (Group C) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm
Australia vs Peru (Group C) – Sochi, 4pm
Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D) – St. Petersburg, 8pm
Iceland vs Croatia (Group D) – Rostov-on-Don, 8pm

27 June 2018
South Korea vs Germany (Group F) – Kazan, 4pm
Mexico vs Sweden (Group F) – Ekaterinburg, 4pm
Serbia vs Brazil (Group E) – Moscow (Spartak), 8pm
Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group E) – Nizhny Novgorod, 8pm

28 June 2018
Japan vs Poland (Group H) – Volgograd, 4pm
Senegal vs Colombia (Group H) – Samara, 4pm
England vs Belgium (Group G) – Kaliningrad, 8pm
Panama vs Tunisia (Group G) – Saransk, 8pm

Round of 16
When the knockout stages arrive, we would be to determine who the favourites are based on their performances in the group stages. Kick off to the knockout stage will be on the last day of June, with two fixtures scheduled for that day.  The best of Group C will start proceedings by taking on Group D runners-up, before Group A winners take on the second placed team in Group B. Sunday, 1 July will see the remaining qualifying teams from both above mentioned groups, before teams from Groups E, F, G and H all battle it out in the two days that follow.

Coverage in South Africa
South Africans can prepare themselves for an overload of World Cup advertisement on their television sets, as both DSTV subscribers and non-subscribers will be able to watch the action in the comfort of their homes. The SABC will be covering 44 games live in different languages. Supersport will be covering all 64 World cup matches with channels like Maximo 1 and Maximo 360 giving us an option of Portuguese commentary.

It is time to get behind the five nations representing Africa: Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.


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