Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Football World Cup tournament kicks off in Russia today, with the country hosting the quadrennial event for the first time ever in the contest’s nearly 90-year history.

For the next four weeks, billions of people around the world will feast their eyes on one of the globe’s most-loved spectacles.

Thirty-two nations will compete in the “beautiful game” with 64 matches in total being held in 11 different cities across Russia, from Kaliningrad in the west to Yekaterinburg in the east.

It will be the 21st World Cup event organized by the sport’s governing body, FIFA, or Federation Internationale de Football Association, since the very first games were held in Uruguay in 1930.

Ahead of the opening of the 2018 tournament, Russian President Vladimir Putin shared the joy and honor of his country hosting the event. “Generations of Russian fans have dreamed of this day,” he…

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