Robbie Williams to open World Cup despite Party Like A Russian track

North America and Morocco finalists for hosting 2026 World Cup

FIFA World Cup 2018: Complete list of panelists and commentators

The award-winning singer formerly in the band Take That, who is best known for his hit single "Angels", will sing alongside Russian soprano Aida Garifullina shortly before Russia and Saudi Arabia kick off the World Cup at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore says India has the potential to play in the FIFA World Cup in near future but the country can reach that standard only if opportunities are created for the players.

Federation Internationale de Football Association says a request to start a feasibility study into adding 16 teams to the Qatar-hosted tournament has been withdrawn by South American body CONMEBOL.

Blatter was at the helm of Federation Internationale de Football Association when Russia won the right to host the World Cup in 2010, beating England, among others, in its bid.

On June 13, the FIFA Congress will determine whether to award the right to host the 2026 World Cup to one of the two candidates.

Meanwhile, Russia's 17,000-member police trade union has warned that overstretched police staffing at the tournament could lead to "grave consequences" for overall security.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in October both Blatter and ex-UEFA head Michel Platini, who was also suspended following an ethics investigation, would be welcome at the World Cup as "old friends" of the Russian president.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

On 14 June, just a few moments before Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia kick off the 2018 FIFA World Cup, three global stars will thrill the fans in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Anderson also noted that Egypt being in the same match group as Saudi Arabia will create "some regional rivalry and buzz".

A south American team has never won the World Cup in Europe, while Germany are aiming to be the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the trophy. 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.

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