The eyes of the footballing world will be on St. Petersburg on Saturday 25 July when the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Preliminary Draw, the first major Kick-Off Event ahead of the tournament itself, takes place.

The ceremony will be held at the historic Konstantin Palace, a bastion of Russia's rich cultural tradition. Guests from around the world will convene at the palace, which is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, to watch the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition.

From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, a total of 208 nations have signed up to participate in the campaign. Russia qualify automatically as hosts and will therefore not be involved in the Preliminary Draw. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, all national teams have registered for the preliminary competition.

Besides Asia, which will have already had a pre-preliminary draw, all other five Confederations will be drawn in St Petersburg.

Experience it LIVE with FIFA.com
FIFA.com will be providing extensive coverage of the preliminary draw in St. Petersburg. As well as a Live Draw Application and the ever-popular FanChat, which allows fans from around the world to share their opinions, the official 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia website will be offering exclusive interviews with stars from the worlds of sport, politics and showbusiness, as well as all the necessary information regarding the draw and colourful reports from in and around St. Petersburg.