Jump-starting the World Cup

A volunteer jumping to strike a pose as her team-mate clicked away in front of a countdown clock at the Red Square complex in Moscow on Sunday. They were among more than 15,000 volunteers in 11 Russian cities which will host matches at football's sho
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A volunteer jumping to strike a pose as her team-mate clicked away in front of a countdown clock at the Red Square complex in Moscow on Sunday. They were among more than 15,000 volunteers in 11 Russian cities which will host matches at football's showpiece event.

The 2018 World Cup kicks off on Thursday, when hosts Russia face Asian side Saudi Arabia in a Group A opener at the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

British pop star Robbie Williams confirmed yesterday that he will perform at the opening ceremony. The 44-year-old will be joined by Russian soprano Aida Garifullina and - presumably not on vocals - former Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who was part of the winning teams in 1994 and 2002.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2018, with the headline 'Jump-starting the World Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe