- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

ZURICH (AP) - The kickoff time for the 2018 World Cup final will be a lot earlier in some major markets than for recent championship games.

FIFA said Thursday the final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018, will start at 6 p.m. local time, which is 11 a.m. EDT and 5 p.m. in central Europe. The opener June 14 will begin at the same hour.

Last year’s final in Rio de Janeiro began at 4 p.m. local time, which was 3 p.m. EDT and 9 p.m. in central Europe. The 2010 final in Johannesburg started at 8:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. EDT) and the 2006 final in Berlin was at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT).

The last final not to start in European prime time was at Yokohama, Japan, in 2002, which kicked off locally at 8 p.m. (7 a.m. EDT).

Semifinals at the 2018 tournament in Russia will start at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT).

The 2008 European Champions League final started at 10:45 p.m. in Moscow, which was then two hours ahead of central Europe.

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