Russia is proposing a provisional list of twelve sports venues for use during the World Cup. The stadiums located in European Russia are: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, St Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi and Volgograd. The only participating Asian Russian city is Yekaterinburg22. Two stadiums are planned in Moscow, the other cities each having a stadium.
The stadiums chosen are divided into 4 geographical poles during the group stage to limit the movements of teams:
North-West Region: Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg;
Central Region: Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod;
Eastern Region: Saransk, Kazan, Samara, Yekaterinburg;
Southern Region: Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi.
On December 14, 2012, the FIFA Executive Committee decided to play the opening match, a semi-final and the final at the Moscow Luzhniki Stadium and the other semi-final at the Krestovski Stadium in St. Petersburg.
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In contrast, the playoffs were marked by the many difficulties faced by the continental champions. Chile, the two-time Copa America champion (2015 and 2016), CONCACAF champions, USA, Cameroon, Africa champion, and New Zealand, Oceania champion, all failed to to qualify. Australia, the Asian champion, finished only third in her group and qualified only in penultimate position after two difficult wins. The World Cup will be contested in the absence of several regulars like Paraguay for the second time in a row, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria and Ghana, but also two other great European football nations: the Netherlands, finalists in 2010 and third in 2014, and Italy, one of the most successful countries with four trophies (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), which had not missed any edition of the World Cup since 1958