A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Wolf Howl

21st Annual FIFA World Cup

This year, the 2018 FIFA World Cup was held in Russia. This event took place over several weeks from June 14th to July 15th. In attendance, there were 32 teams that competed  in eleven different cities in the country. It was a year of many firsts for the World Cup. For example, it was the first time a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was being used and the first time the World Cup was held in the eastern part of Europe. The opening ceremony for this event was led by Robbie Williams, a singer from the UK, and Aida Garifullina, a Russian soprano. Throughout the entire ceremony, the stadium in Moscow was full of delight, music and especially vivid colors.

Moving along, the World Cup officially started after Russia played against Saudi Arabia in the kickoff game. The World Cup was set up into several stages. As stated from Vox News, the “32 qualifying teams were set up in eight groups that were labeled A-H, with no particular reason in choosing which team went where”. A point system was used to determine who went on to the Round of 16. A win was three points, while a tie was one point and a loss remained at zero points. The two teams that had the highest number of points would eventually move on to the knockout stages, also called the Round of 16. Along with the idea that this World Cup was one of many firsts, it also had many unexpected twists and turns. Germany, the champion from the last world cup, was knocked out from the Round of 16  and it was the first time they would not be advancing to the knockout rounds in 30 years. Even teams such as Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain, with the best players in the world had been eliminated far earlier than they were expected to.

After a grueling and intense four weeks, the final came into view with France going head-to-head with Croatia. This was Croatia’s first time in the finals of the World Cup. On the other hand, France had won previously in 1998, and was determined to retrieve the trophy once again. In the end, France was able to claim victorious over the Croatian national team, ending with a resounding victory of 4-2.