Russia 2018: A Tournament Feel

From a purely football perspective, this summer’s World Cup will look and feel like a genuine tournament.

That may seem a strange thing to say (doesn’t every tournament look and feel like one?) but maybe not so when you consider what is coming up for England (hopefully) and their supporters.

Firstly there is Euro 2020, where qualification is complicated by the European Nations League, worthy attempt that that is to rid international football of meaningless friendlies, and where the finals themselves jump around Europe like an indecisive inter-railer as matches take place in 12 countries.

The FA will rightly be pleased to be hosting group games as well as the semi-finals and final but the time difference in between means England won’t feel like a host country and the absence of any central point for supporters will surely give Euro 2020 more of a Champions League air.

And then comes the moveable feast that is Qatar 2022, already moved to November and December of that year over fears that the climate in the Gulf state would be detrimental to the football.

With qualification for the tournament not a million miles from beginning, however, FIFA have just recently floated the idea of a 48-team competition which would almost inevitably require the support of other countries to host it.

The current 32-team format lends itself well to a 16-team knockout stage but that would have to be manipulated if the tournament was a third bigger.

So, political debate aside, let's enjoy Russia 2018 while we can. If you're travelling there this summer then there is plenty of important information available online to help with your enjoyment.

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