By Duncan Mackay at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo

Luzhniki Stadium at nightDecember 14 - Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium has been officially confirmed as the venue for the 2018 World Cup final, FIFA announced today.

The Luzhniki, which was opened in 1956 and has a 90,000 capacity, will also stage the opening match and a semi-final following approval by FIFA's ruling Executive Committee, who are meeting here on the eve of the Club World Cup final on Sunday (December 16) between Premier League Chelsea and Brazilian club Corinthians at Yokohama.

St Petersburg will stage the other semi-final.

Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi were approved as venues for the 2017 Confederations Cup, also to be held in Russia as a warm-up for the following year's World Cup, FIFA said.

The Luzhniki Stadium will join the select group of arenas to host both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics and final of the World Cup alongside Wembley in London, the Olympiastadions in Berlin and Munich and the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Germany pose with 1990 World Cup finalGermany celebrate winning the 1990 FIFA World Cup final in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, which also hosted the 1960 Olympics

In addition, the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and Rose Bowl in Pasadena have both staged World Cup finals and been used for the football tournament during the Olympics.

The Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro will become the first stadium to host two World Cup finals and and an Olympics.

Having hosted the World Cup final in 1950 it will again be the venue in 2014 when the tournament returns to Brazil and, in 2016, will be the centrepiece for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The Luzhniki Stadium was also the scene for a memorable Champions League final in 2008, which was dramatically won by Manchester United against Chelsea after a penalty shoot-out.

The Stadium, which is also is due to host the Rugby World Cup sevens and World Athletics Championships next year, is currently at the centre of a debate about whether it should be demolished and rebuilt or renovated.

A decision is due early next month. 

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