Argentina’s Pitana to ref World Cup opener

Thomas Meunier Belgium

Tournament matches will take place at 11 venues across the country, taking teams as far east as Ekaterinburg and as far south as Sochi.

The Pharaohs fell in an arguably reasonable group, in their first World Cup appearance since 1990, alongside Uruguay, the hosts Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

The event, kicking off June 14, will take place in various cities across Russian Federation, from Moscow to St. Petersburg to Sochi.

They will be joined by Brazil's two-time World Cup victor Ronaldo at Thursday's show, which will be held just 30 minutes before the kick-off to the first match between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. There has been no mention of a performance of the official World Cup song, Live It Up, featuring film star Will Smith, Colombia-based pop star Nicky Jam, and Kosovan singer Era Istrefi.

Federation Internationale de Football Association did not comment on whether the song would form part of Williams' performance, saying the set list would be kept as a "surprise".

David Silva Spain

Williams said he was "happy and excited" and that the performance was the fulfilment of a boyhood dream, promising an "unforgettable show".

Additionally, Russian soprano Aida Garifullina will perform alongside Williams while Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo - a two time World Cup champion - is also present during the opening ceremony, according to Federation Internationale de Football Association.

Federation Internationale de Football Association says it approved a new formula which rewards teams for playing more games, and it takes effect in the post-World Cup ranking on July 19.

"There are about three tons of products in Bronnitsy from Argentina, the chefs who will cook for the team have already arrived in Bronnitsy", Sports Illustrated quoted Argentina's ambassador to Russia, Ricardo Lagorio, as telling TASS news agency.

The New York Times reviewed the letters and first reported on them.

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