Spartak Stadium Russia World Cup
Spartak Stadium Russia

The Group Stages of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is officially over and 16 worthy teams have moved onto the Round of 16.

This year’s tournament is being held in Russia which for one reason or the other has been a bit of a headache for the various authorities involved.

Firstly there were doubts over Russia’s bid for the World Cup as many believed that Russia had used unfair means to win the bid to host the 2018 edition.

Then there were fears of violence during the tournament and even some of the matches being fixed(especially those of the Russian national team).

And finally, there were a few minor issues wherein a couple of regions of Russia were out of alcohol as soon as the tournament picked up speed.

But apart from the alcohol crisis, no major issue has cropped up during the past fortnight and so we decided to look back at some of the major highlights of the World Cup Group Stage.

1. Ain’t no dope:

Anti-doping authorities of FIFA, have so far registered zero violations of anti-doping regulations at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The authorities have made 2700 tests and all of them have been negatives.

FIFA Chief Competitions and Events Officer Colin Smith told journalists on Friday: “Every single player participating in the World Cup has been attested at least once. I say at least once because in many cases the average (figure) is higher.”

2. ‘Fan’-zy:

According to the official statistics, a total of 2,178,894 people visited the stadium during the 48 games of the group stages making the average attendance for each game 45.394.

3. Nil-Nil not a thing:

The 2018 edition of the World Cup has seen only one goalless draw which was between France and Denmark in their final group game.

This is the fewest number of 0-0 draws in the first round of the World Cup since the 1954 edition.

4. VAR to the rescue:

Thanks to the VAR a total of 18 penalties have been awarded during the 2018 edition of the World Cup meaning 14.8 per cent of all goals have been scored so far from the penalty spot.

18 penalties also means that the most number of penalties has already been broken which was previously held during the 199 campaign(17).

5. Less action more football:

The 2018 edition of the World Cup has seen a total of 883 fouls during the group stages which stands at an average of 24.5 fouls per game.

According to reports, this has been the lowest number of fouls for atleast 50 years.

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