Ekaterinburg is one of the largest and the most dynamic cities in the country. It is an administrative capital of the Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Ural Federal District and an important centre for industry, transport, finance, science and culture.

Ekaterinburg is situated in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia, on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains on the Iset River. The city has a latitude of 56°50' North and a longitude of 60°35' East.

This city features a humid continental climate with long cold winters and short warm summers. Average temperature is -12.6°С in January and 19.0°С in July.

The city takes up an area of 491 square kilometers. With a population of 1,404,701 (April 2012) it is the forth-largest city in Russia.

The time zone for the city of Ekaterinburg is UTC+6 (two hours ahead of Moscow and six hours ahead of Greenwich). The distance between Moscow and Ekaterinburg is 1667 kilometers. A flight from Moscow to Ekaterinburg takes 2 hours, while a train trip takes from 26 to 30 hours.

The 2018 FIFA World Cupтм will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in 2018 in Russia. The tournament will involve 32 national teams, including that of the host nation. This will be the first time Russia has hosted the tournament, as well as being the first World Cup in Eastern Europe. With Ekaterinburg it may also become the first World Cup hold in more than one continent, namely Europe and Asia.

A total of 64 matches will take place - 48 matches in the group stage and 16 at the stage of the playoffs. Teams from more than two hundred countries will participate in the qualifying tournament. Russia, as hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament.

Holding the World Cup in Russia will attract unprecedented attention to the tournament. Traditionally, connecting East and West, Russia will unite the world through the universal power of football.

In March 2009 the Russian Football Union (RFU) submitted an official request to participate in the nomination to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. Initially, nine countries placed bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cupтм, but Mexico later withdrew from proceedings, and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid. During the bidding process the three remaining non-UEFA nations (Australia, Japan and the United States) gradually withdrew from the 2018 bids, and the UEFA nations were thus ruled out of the 2022 bid. As such, there were eventually four bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cupтм: England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal.

The twenty-two member FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zurich on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments. Russia won the right to be the 2018 host in the second round of voting, while the Spain/Portugal bid came second and that from Belgium/Netherlands third. England's bid to host its second tournament fell in the first round.

In 2010 the delegation of Russia's bid committee under the leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov handed FIFA President Joseph Blatter a bid book for the World Cup.

The bid book of Russia is a three-volume document (1100 pages) in English, which describes the concept and all aspects of the tournament in the host country. The largest volume is completely devoted to stadiums: Russia offers FIFA 14 stadiums that meet the standards of the organization.

The application is accompanied by a set of documents: an agreement to hold the tournament, government guarantees, contracts with the city-organizers of the World Cup.

The proposed concept consists of four clusters in the European part of the country. The Central cluster includes Moscow and Moscow region, the Northern cluster includes St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad, the Volzhsky cluster includes Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk and Volgograd, the South cluster includes Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Sochi. There is also a city in the bid, which is located on the border of Europe and Asia - the city of Ekaterinburg.

Group stage matches will be distributed on a geographical basis. Metropolitan stadium "Luzhniki" is likely to take the opening match, semi-finals and finals. St. Petersburg or Ekaterinburg will host the second semifinal.

To date, all cities are named as candidates to host the 2018 FIFA World Cupтм. FIFA together with the Organizing Committee "Russia - 2018" will determine the final list of cities on March 2013.