The 2014 FIFA World Cup, to be held from June 12 through July 13 in Brazil, will be the 20th world soccer championship. The opening match between the home team, Brazil, and Croatia will kick off at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, and the final will be played at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Matches will be held at the stadiums of Rio de Janeiro and 11 other Brazilian cities.
The World Cup will see a competition of 32 national teams (Brazil as the host and 31 teams that have qualified for the final tournament). Incidentally, all the eight teams that have won the world soccer championships before have also made their way to the current final stage. It will be recalled that the previous soccer world cups were won 10 times by Europeans (Italy – 4, Germany – 3, France, England, and Spain – 1 each) and 9 times by South American countries (Brazil – 5, Uruguay and Argentina – 2 each). The national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina is taking part in the final stage for the first time.
The national soccer team of Ukraine failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, losing to France in a play-off series last November. Nevertheless, a lot of Ukrainian club players are part of the national teams that are likely to win victories, such as Brazil, Croatia, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Ghana.
The Brazilian press reports that the 2014 World Cup will cost the country an estimated $14 billion, with most of the money coming from state coffers. This in turn sparked off several rallies of protest against the World Cup in Brazil. Yet the protests are not hindering the world’s most sought-after soccer event in the past four years. Besides, the World Cup-related economic expenses can be offset by the moral and psychological pleasure of victory, for experts call Brazil the No.1 favorite. Most of the well-known bookmakers are betting on the victory of not only the tournament’s host, but also Argentina, France, and Italy.
THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP WAS HELD IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC. SPAIN WON THE CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. EXPERTS CONSIDER THE HOST, BRAZIL, TO BE THE MAIN FAVORITE OF THE CURRENT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP / REUTERS photo
Millions of soccer aficionados all over the world will be watching the games on TV screens at home and on big-city central squares where fan-sectors have already been set up. According to FIFA, the lucky ones who will manage to visit the World Cup will have to splurge to get to stadiums. For example, admission to stadium will cost a foreign spectator 90 dollars for one group-stage match. And to take a seat at the grandstand during the final match, foreigners will have to shell out 440 to 990 dollars. As for the socially-disadvantaged categories of Brazilians, such as students, pensioners, the disabled, heads of large families, etc., a ticket will set them back 15 dollars only. The rest of the local residents will have to pay 30 dollars.
Ukrainian TV viewers will be able to watch the 2014 World Cup opening ceremony at 9:15 p.m. on the First National Channel. Besides, the state-run channel is forming a special studio to beam the program “Soccer Samba 2014” with latest updates on the championship.