Garcia Report, an internal investigation led by Michael. 36 If a match went into extra time, each team was allowed to make a fourth substitution, the first time this had been allowed in a fifa World Cup tournament. 32 33The 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4, by selecting one team from each of the 4 ranked pots. 46 Systems are in place for communicating VAR-related information to broadcasters and visuals on stadiums' large screens are used for the fans in attendance. 46 VAR had a significant impact in several games. The main arena of Volgograd was built on the demolished Central Stadium site, at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The project was officially completed on 29 December 2016. 53 Most cities are in European Russia, while Sochi 54 and Yekaterinburg 55 are very close to the Europe-Asia border, to reduce travel time for the teams in the huge country. The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg hosted the first semi-final on 10 July and the third place play-off on 14 July. "fifa 2018" redirects here. Saransk Airport received a new navigation system; the city also got two new hotels, Mercure Saransk Centre (Accor Hotels) and Four Points by Sheraton Saransk (Starwood Hotels) as well as few other smaller accommodation facilities. 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. 102 22 Opening ceremony Main article: 2018 fifa World Cup opening ceremony The opening ceremony took place on Thursday, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, preceding the opening match of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia. The bidding procedure to host the 20 fifa World Cup tournaments began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest. The other notable qualifying streaks broken were for Ghana and Ivory Coast, who had both made the previous three tournaments. It was the first World Cup to be held.