FIFA confirms team base camps for 32 teams


MOSCOW — FIFA has on Friday confirmed the list of Team Base Camps (TBCs) of the 32 teams that will participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The TBCs will be the teams’ headquarters during the tournament and all of them will include a hotel and training site located a short distance from each other.

They will also be approximately an hour's drive from an airport capable of landing medium-sized aircraft. A total of 123 visits were made by the various team delegations to the proposed TBCs during the selection process.

During the group stage of the competition, all teams will stay and train between matches in their TBC and travel from there to the host city of their respective match, where they will stay overnight at a Venue Specific Team Hotel (VSTH) and have the opportunity to train in a Venue-Specific Training Site (VSTS).

In principle, all teams should stay in the VSTH the nights before and after the match in question.

Following the group stage, the teams that advance to the next rounds will have the option to remain using their TBCs or move from host city to host city depending on where their matches take place.

As from five days before the respective team’s first match in the FIFA World Cup, with the sole exception of official training sessions in a stadium, each team should only use the official training sites allocated to it for training sessions or preparation matches.

All teams are expected to arrive in the host country at least five days before their first match.

Meanwhile, FIFA's president has praised Russia's preparations for this summer's World Cup. Speaking to reporters during a one-day trip to Vietnam on Thursday, Giovanni Infantino said everything is ready for the world's biggest sporting event, which will kick off in June.

"Preparations in Russia are very, very well on track. The stadiums are beautiful, the infrastructure was there, the airports are operational, hotels are there and I think the world will discover this summer a welcoming country, a country which wants to celebrate together with the whole world the biggest, not only sporting event, but the biggest social and sporting event in the world, which is the World Cup," he said. "We'll experience the best World Cup ever this summer in Russia."

Infantino said the world soccer body will meet next month to decide whether video-assisted refereeing will be part of the laws of the game after almost 1,000 successful tests.

"But I'm very confident and positive because I think in 2018 we cannot anymore afford that everyone in the stadium and everyone in front of TV screens can see within a few minutes on its phone whether the referee has made a big mistake or not and the only one who cannot see is the referee. So if we can help the referee, then we should do it," he said.

Earlier, Infantino met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to discuss how FIFA can further assist Vietnam in developing its soccer through financial and technical support. Soccer is the most popular sport in the country of 95 million people which is 112th in the FIFA ranking and No. 1 in Southeast Asia.

Last month, members of the Vietnam U23 team were given a rock-star welcome after they finished runners up to Uzbekistan in the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship in China. It was the country's best soccer finish to date in Asia-wide competition, although the national team won the Southeast Asian championship 10 years ago. — Agencies