A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues across 11 cities.
The final took place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, between France and Croatia.
From the preliminary squad, the team had to name a final squad of 23 players (three of whom must be goalkeepers) by 4 June.
Players in the final squad may be replaced for serious injury up to 24 hours prior to kickoff of the team's first match and such replacements do not need to have been named in the preliminary squad.
The other notable qualifying streaks broken were for Ghana and Ivory Coast, who had both made the previous three tournaments.
The 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4, by selecting one team from each of the 4 ranked pots.
Both Iceland and Panama qualified for the first time, with the former becoming the smallest country in terms of population to reach the World Cup.
Other teams returning after absences of at least three tournaments include: Egypt, returning to the finals after their last appearance in 1990; Morocco, who last competed in 1998; Peru, returning after 1982; and Senegal, competing for the second time after reaching the quarter-finals in 2002.
The 22-member FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zürich on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments.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.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.