The 2018 World Cup is here and the tournament’s matches will be played in 12 arenas across 11 cities.
Russia is the largest country on the planet, making travelling between games more difficult compared to World Cups of the past.
Andrew Beaton at the Wall Street Journal estimated the total distance travelled for each team in the tournament based on their base camp and the locations of their three matches of the group stage.
As you’ll see, some teams will have fairly reasonable travel demands to make it from match to match, while some others will have a far tougher time when it comes to getting to the stadium on gameday.
You can check out our breakdown of the World Cup travel schedule below.
There’s a pretty wide range of travel miles teams will be logging through their first three games of the tournament. The table above is based on round-trip travel between a team’s base camp and its first two games, as well as a trip out to the stadium for its third and final match of the group stage.
While no team has it easy, the chart makes clear that some teams have it much tougher than others. To get a better idea of how the teams will be travelling, take a look at the host nation of Russia’s travel itinerary for the group stage.
Russia’s team travel route: 1,320 total miles
Russia’s base camp is in Moscow, which will also be the location of the team’s first match of the tournament. Then, they will take a roundtrip to Saint Petersburg to face Egypt, before finishing the group stage in Samara.
At 1,320 estimated total miles, it’s not the lightest travel schedule in the tournament, but it’s pretty close, especially when compared to Russia’s Group A opponent Egypt, which will have to travel a whopping 5,288 miles through the first three matches of the World Cup.
Egypt’s team travel route: 5,288 total miles
Egypt’s schedule is by far the most gruelling of any team in the tournament. They were placed in the southernmost base camp and have to pull round trips to the northernmost and easternmost stadiums for their first two matches.
It is easy to see this and wonder if the host country was playing a bit of gamesmanship with a key opponent.
While Egypt’s travel schedule would be considered a haul by any traveller, it’s especially gutting when compared to Colombia, the team with the lightest travel at the World Cup.
Colombia’s team travel route: 761 total miles
Colombia will log just 761 miles through their first three matches of the World Cup, one of just two teams that won’t clear 1,000 miles in the group stage.
As you can see, Colombia’s stadium choices appear exponentially more balanced than Egypt’s, with one game in the same city as its base camp and two others just a (relatively) short trip away. It does help that the team’s home base, Saransk, is one of the most centralised in the country.
If you’re looking for a sleeper pick to make a run in the World Cup, Colombia will at least be well-rested through the group stage of the tournament. And if Egypt comes out a bit flat-footed in its match against Russia, there’s a chance their brutal travel schedule has something to do with it.
More World Cup 2018 coverage:
- 8 teams to root for in the World Cup if your favourite country went bust in qualifying
- Iran’s World Cup team is suddenly scrambling to find shoes to wear after Nike abruptly withdrew its supply
- The new World Cup uniforms for every country
- World Cup 2018: Everything you need to know about all 32 teams competing for the biggest prize in football
- The one player you need to know from every country competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup
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