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Construction of the proposed Podolsk stadium in the Moscow region was cancelled by the regional government, and also in the capital, Otkrytiye Arena was competing with Dynamo Stadium over which would be constructed first.
The final choice of host cities was announced on 29 September 2012.
The finals involved 32 teams, of which 31 came through qualifying competitions, while the host nation qualified automatically.
Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the previous tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup.
along with his two assistant referees, compatriots Mohammed Al-Abakry and Abdulah Al-Shalwai.
A new referee was not appointed, but two assistant referees, Hasan Al Mahri of the United Arab Emirates and Hiroshi Yamauchi of Japan, were added to the list.
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.
Notable countries that failed to qualify include four-time champions Italy (for the first time since 1958), three-time runners-up and third placed in 2014 the Netherlands (for the first time since 2002), and four reigning continental champions: 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon, two-time Copa América 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 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4, by selecting one team from each of the 4 ranked pots.For the draw, the teams were allocated to four pots based on the FIFA World Rankings of October 2017.Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia (who were automatically assigned to position A1) and the best seven teams, pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, and so on for pots 3 and 4.Because of the controversy, the FA refused to accept Eckert's absolving of Russia from blame, with Greg Dyke calling for a re-examination of the affair and David Bernstein calling for a boycott of the World Cup.Of the 32 nations qualified to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 20 countries competed at the previous tournament in 2014.This was different from previous draws, when only pot 1 was based on FIFA rankings while the remaining pots were based on geographical considerations.However, teams from the same confederation still were not drawn against each other for the group stage, except that two UEFA teams could be in each group.Garcia, was withheld from public release by Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA's head of adjudication on ethical matters.Eckert instead released a shorter revised summary, and his (and therefore FIFA's) reluctance to publish the full report caused Garcia to resign in protest.They claimed that four members of the executive committee had requested bribes to vote for England, and Sepp Blatter had said that it had already been arranged before the vote that Russia would win.The 2014 Garcia Report, an internal investigation led by Michael J.