The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years. It took place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018.

What was special about this world cup?

This was the first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe, and the 11th time that it had been held in Europe. At an estimated cost of over $14.2 billion, it is the most expensive World Cup ever. It was also the first World Cup to use the video assistant referee (VAR) system.

Participation of nations

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 last tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues across 11 cities.

Details about final

The final took place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with France and Croatia competing for the World Cup. France won the match 4–2 to claim their second World Cup title, marking the fourth consecutive title won by a European team, after Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010 and Germany in 2014.

 About FIFA

The FIFA Congress, the most-critical gathering of international football’s governing body, gather every year. The introduction of annual meetings allows ‘football’s parliament’ to influence decisions concerning an ever-growing number of issues.

The Congress makes decisions relating to FIFA’s governing statutes and the method by which they are implemented and applied. It also approves the annual report, decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections, most notably for the FIFA presidency.

The FIFA Congress – football’s parliament

According to the statutes, the FIFA Congress is the organisation’s supreme body. As the legislative body of world football – football’s parliament in other words – the Congress bears a particular responsibility for developing the game, the nature of which has been subject to increasingly rapid change over the past few years. Each member has one vote at the Congress.

What decisions may the Congress take?

The Congress…

– decides whether to admit, suspend or expel a member

– the location of FIFA headquarters (in Zurich since 1932)

– may award the title of honorary president, honorary vice-president or honorary member

– is responsible for amending the Statutes, the Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes and the Standing Orders of the Congress

– may remove a FIFA Executive Committee member from office

– approves the balance sheet and income statement

– approves the Activity Report

– elects the president every four years

The FIFA President has an important function during the Congress: he presides over it and ensures that the debates are properly conducted. After the Congress, he is then responsible for ensuring that the decisions passed are implemented.

(Adapted from the Hindu)