Despite not playing, USA leads World Cup flight booking growth to Russian Federation


With Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco making it through to the group stages of the FIFA World Cup, Arab teams have their best-ever presence at the world's biggest sporting event and brands are seizing the opportunity.

The tournament, which is taking place in 11 cities at 12 venues, will run from Thursday until July 15.

World champions Germany (62,541), China (40,251) and Australia (36,359) make up the top 10, with Poland, Sweden and Denmark also expected to be backed by thousands of supporters during the tournament.

The head of World Cup security, Alexei Lavrishchev, said last week that his control center stood ready against threats, but allowed for looser enforcement of small offenses than usual due to the number of foreign fans expected in Russian Federation.

The ceremony will begin half an hour before the game kicks off at 6pm local time (4pm BST).

Success for the hosts at a World Cup often makes for the good of the tournament as a whole, and the opener is arguably a must-win for Russian Federation if they are to get out of a group that also includes Egypt and Uruguay.

"I'm so happy and excited to be going back to Russian Federation for such a unique performance", said Williams. Yes, India did qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1950 but withdrew from the tournament in the end.

The organization is set to earn more than $6 billion in the four-year cycle tied to this year's World Cup, with an estimated profit exceeding $100 million.

The performance from Williams and Garifullina gets underway just 30 minutes before kick-off at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Who wins Russia-Saudi Arabia?

Fox Sports has the exclusive broadcasting rights to this year's World Cup, meaning you can catch the matches on Fox, Fox Sports 1, and via the Fox Sports GO app. However, the spending tally provided by Russia's World Cup organizers falls short of the amount spent by Brazil to host the 2014 World Cup.