The FIFA 2018 World Cup may seem far off but the final pieces of the tournament are coming together with the Organizing Committee unveiling the match schedule this week.  The Committee also announced the schedule for the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup.

Russia, the host for both tournaments, have been named the A1 seed for both competitions.  They will wait as other teams earn their places in their respective pots.

Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium will host the opening match on June 14, 2018 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup final on July 15, 2018.  The 62 other matches will be played in 11 stadia in 10 cities across Russia.

Kazan, Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium and Spartak Stadium), Novgorod, Rostov, Saint Petersburg, Samara, and Sochi will host Round of 16 games.  The winners of those matches will have quarterfinal matches in Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi and Samara.

St. Petersburg and Moscow will be the sites of the semifinals as well as the 3rd place match and the FIFA 2018 World Cup final.

Check out the FIFA 2018 World Cup match schedule with Group pairings on FIFA.com.

The 2017 Confederations Cup will be played between June 17, 2017 and July 2, 2017.  8 Teams will be competing for the trophy as well as getting a trial run for the next year’s FIFA World Cup.  Russia (hosts), Germany (reigning world champions), Asian Cup winners Australia, and Copa América champions Chile have qualified.

The 4 teams to join them will be the CONCACAF representative, the playoff winner between the US, winner of the 2013 Gold Cup, and the winner the 2015 Gold Cup between Jamaica and Mexico which will be played on October 9, 2015, the winners of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2016, UEFA EURO 2016 and the OFC Nations Cup 2016.

The Confederations Cup will be played in 4 host cities, Kazan, Moscow’s Spartak Stadium, Saint Petersburg, and Sochi.  The final will be held in Moscow with the 3rd place game in St. Petersburg.  Kazan and Sochi will host the semifinal matches.

The draw will be staged in Kazan in November 2016.

The 2017 Confederations Cup match schedule and group pairings on FIFA.com

Russia 2018 is making sure fans planning on following their team are ready and to help have set up the Welcome2018 website.

Official FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 gear is starting to be received at World Soccer Shop.