The finals involved 32 teams, of which 31 came through qualifying competitions, while the host nation qualified automatically.
Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the last tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years.
It took place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018.
Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia (who were automatically assigned to position A1) and the best seven teams, pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, and so on for pots 3 and 4.Because of the controversy, the FA refused to accept Eckert's absolving of Russia from blame, with Greg Dyke calling for a re-examination of the affair and David Bernstein calling for a boycott of the World Cup.Of the 32 nations qualified to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 20 countries competed at the previous tournament in 2014.Garcia, was withheld from public release by Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA's head of adjudication on ethical matters.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.Bastian Dankert (Germany)Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)Paweł Gil (Poland)Massimiliano Irrati (Italy)Tiago Martins (Portugal)Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)Daniele Orsato (Italy)Paolo Valeri (Italy)Felix Zwayer (Germany) Shortly after the International Football Association Board's decision to incorporate video assistant referees (VARs) into the Laws of the Game, on 16 March 2018, the FIFA Council took the much-anticipated step of approving the use of VAR for the first time in a FIFA World Cup tournament.