Photos of the Week: 06/14/2018 – The magic of the World Cup 2018 !
The world cup for 2018 is about to begin. What is the big deal about this? For those living outside of the United States, it is, by far, the biggest sporting event in the world. And now, in the United States, for those who love the “Real Football”, it is rapidly becoming the biggest sport in the United States as well. This is where the world plays together for the coveted title of the WORLD CUP 2018.
Could it be again? Brazil is hoping that they may come back again as winners!
And of course there is always exciting news with each world cup.
The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is Germany, which won its fourth title at the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, which is often called the World Cup Finals. 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation(s), compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month.
The 20 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Germany and Italy, with four titles each; Argentina and inaugural winner Uruguay, with two titles each; and England, France and Spain, with one title each.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games; the cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, a ninth of the entire population of the planet.
Since the second World Cup in 1934, qualifying tournaments have been held to thin the field for the final tournament. They are held within the six FIFA continental zones (Africa, Asia, North and Central America and Caribbean, South America, Oceania, and Europe), overseen by their respective confederations. For each tournament, FIFA decides the number of places awarded to each of the continental zones beforehand, generally based on the relative strength of the confederations’ teams.
The qualification process can start as early as almost three years before the final tournament and last over a two-year period. The formats of the qualification tournaments differ between confederations. Usually, one or two places are awarded to winners of intercontinental play-offs. For example, the winner of the Oceanian zone and the fifth-placed team from the Asian zone entered a play-off for a spot in the 2010 World Cup. From the 1938 World Cup onwards, host nations receive automatic qualification to the final tournament. This right was also granted to the defending champions between 1938 and 2002, but was withdrawn from the 2006 FIFA World Cup onward, requiring the champions to qualify. Brazil, winners in 2002, were the first defending champions to play qualifying matches
The current final tournament has been used since 1998 and features 32 national teams competing over the course of a month in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.
In the group stage, teams compete within eight groups of four teams each. Eight teams are seeded, including the hosts, with the other seeded teams selected using a formula based on the FIFA World Rankings and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. The other teams are assigned to different “pots”, usually based on geographical criteria, and teams in each pot are drawn at random to the eight groups. Since 1998, constraints have been applied to the draw to ensure that no group contains more than two European teams or more than one team from any other confederation.
Each group plays a round-robin tournament, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. This means that a total of six matches are played within a group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994, three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).
If one considers all possible outcomes (win, draw, loss) for all six matches in a group, there are 729 (= 36) outcome combinations possible. However, 207 of these combinations lead to ties between the second and third places. In such case, the ranking among these teams is determined as follows:
- Greatest combined goal difference in all group matches
- Greatest combined number of goals scored in all group matches
- If more than one team remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined as follows:
- Greatest number of points in head-to-head matches among those teams
- Greatest goal difference in head-to-head matches among those teams
- Greatest number of goals scored in head-to-head matches among those teams
- If any of the teams above remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined by the drawing of lots
The knockout stage is a single-elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. It begins with the round of 16 (or the second round) in which the winner of each group plays against the runner-up of another group. This is followed by the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the third-place match (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final.
On 10 January 2017, FIFA approved a new format, the 48-team World Cup (to accommodate more teams), which consists of 16 groups of three teams each, with two teams qualifying from each group, to form a round of 32 knockout stage, to be implemented by 2026.
If you are a soccer fan, or a true football fan, this is the time to watch this tournament. This is the best of the best, battling it out for the championship of the world. This is like the Olympics of this sport, because they only play this every 4 years. This is the time when every country plays their best players, and every players plays 110 percent. This is the most watched sport of the world. Watched more than the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA playoffs. If you have never taken the time to watch what the rest of the world is so excited to see, then you must see this one. Take some time to watch :
THE WORLD CUP 2018, FROM RUSSIA !