Greatest show kicks off in Russia today

…the wait is over, time for history

Russia’s men’s team will be hoping to turn the home advantage into a winning start when they oppose Saudi Arabia today in the opening fixture of the 2018 FIFA World Cup competition. (Photo courtesy of FIFA.com)

By: Ras Wadada

The long and much awaited kick-off to the 21st edition of the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ has finally arrived and despite the many changes the ‘Beautiful Game’ has endured, on and off the pitch since the last World Cup finals played in Brazil, the incomparable Global passions and interests remain fever-pitch high on Planet Earth as the battle for the most coveted trophy in Sports will move into motion today in Moscow City, Russia.

This is the period that every four years become the primary focus of the majority of the world, greatly anticipating and expecting and then celebrating or moaning, as the 64 matches unfold over a month’s time. Only eight nations have lifted the prestigious trophy and twelve have played in the Championship match from among the 77 nations to have graced the ‘Promised Land’ of football in the 20 editions thus far, and it would take a herculean effort for a new Champion to be crowned when the final whistle is blown on July 15th.

The World Cup has always generated passionate arguments, before, during and after, as to who are the real contenders, who are the pretenders, who could spring a surprise and who could have won, whenever discussions and debates are fused anywhere on the Planet. In its unending innovations of the game FIFA will introduce, for the first time at a World Cup, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) so all those doubtful calls, by referees in the past, which would have brought joy to some and sadness to others can no longer determine the outcome of matches. The VAR will be linked directly to the officiating referee ….