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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 1,500 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have come across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are "home made" (or fake) and not authorised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central bank would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would cover the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheets and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner, including me of course!

All comments are most welcome but it has to be subjects related to banknotes or banknotes collection. If not, it will not be approved. Thanks

16 July 2018

Russia - 100 Rubles FIFA Football World Cup Final 2018 Commemorative Polymer

Росси́йская Федерaция
(Russian Federation)
Центральный банк Российской Федерации
(Central Bank of the Russian Federation)
Currency - Ruble (RUB)

This polymer note was released on 22.05.2018 to celebrate the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup Final held in Russia between 14.06.2018 to 15.07.2018. Whilst many postage stamps and commemorative coins have been issued in the past to commemorate the FIFA football finals, this is the first time that a banknote has been issued to celebrate this world cup game. This is also the first polymer note issued by Russia.

The design on the front features the late famous Russian goalkeeper Lev Ivanovich Yashin (1929-1990) stopping a goal been scored during the 1966 England World Cup final. That game was played between Russia and Italy during a Group 4 round robin match on 16.07.1966 in Sunderland with Russia beating Italy with a score of 1-0. The shot that saved by Lev Yashin came from Italy's midfielder Sandro Mazzola. The goal for Russia was scored by Igor Leonidovich Chislenko. Italy also lost their game to North Korea by 1-0. Russian together with North Korea advanced into the next round while Italy and Chile went home early. Lev Yashim's nicknamed Black Spider or Black Panther, played 326 games for his club, Dynamo Moscow between 1950 and 1970, and 74 games for Russia National team. The note also features a young boy wearing a jersey with #1 on his back and holding a football in his right arm. The main features on the back include a football with the Russian map and the names of the venues for the all FIFA games. Images of fans celebration the games final are also included in the designs.

Prefixes AA and AB sighted.

One Hundred Rubles
Dated 2018
AA Prefix
AB Prefix
The World Cup final qualification process involved 210 teams around the world with 872 matches played from 12.03.2015 to 15.11.2017. Only 31 teams plus the host Russia qualified for the final. A total goal of 2,454 (2.81 per match) were scored during the qualification process.

The 32 teams, including the host, Russian participating in this tournament were:-

AFC - Australia, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia & South Korea;
CAF - Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal & Tunisia;
CONCACAF - Costa Rica, Mexico & Panama;
CONMEBOL - Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru & Uruguay;
OFC - None qualified
UEFA - Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden & Switzerland.

In all, 64 matches were played in this final at 12 venues located in 11 cities mainly in the central and western Russia. Not a single game was played in the eastern Russia. The first stage of the final involved round robin games with 32 teams divided into 8 groups of 4 teams each. After this stage, it then went into a knock out stage with the final played on 15.07.2018. The host Russia played the first game against Saudi Arabia and the final game was played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Two well-known teams, Holland and Italy failed to qualify for the final, whilst Iceland and Panama made their first appearances.

Round Robin standing: -
Group A - Uruguay (9); Russia (6); Saudi Arabia (3) & Egypt (0)
Group B - Spain (5); Portugal (5); Iran (4) & Morocco (1)
Group C - France (7); Denmark (5); Peru (3) & Australia (1)
Group D - Croatia (9); Argentina (4); Nigeria (3) & Iceland (1)
Group E - Brazil (7); Switzerland (5); Serbia (3) & Costa Rica (1)
Group F - Sweden (6); Mexico (6), South Korea (3) & Germany (3)
Group G - Belgium (9); England (6); Tunisia (3) & Panama (0)
Group H - Colombia (6); Japan (4); Senegal (4) & Poland (3)

First knock out stage: -
Uruguay beat Portugal 2-1
France beat Argentina 4-3
Brazil beat Mexico 2-0
Belgium beat Japan 3-2
Russia beat Spain 1.4-1.3 (on penalties)
Croatia beat Denmark 1.3-1.2 (on penalties)
Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0
England beat Colombia 1.4-1.3 (on penalties)

Quarter-finals: -
France beat Uruguay 2-0
Belgium beat Brazil 2-1
England beat Sweden 2-0
Croatia beat Russia 2.4-2.3 (on penalties)

Semi-finals: -
France beat Belgium 1-0
Croatia beat England 2-1 (extra time)

Final: -
Champion = France (4)
Runner-up = Croatia (2)
Third = Belgium (2)
Fourth = England (0)

*The VAR system made this tournament much more interesting, with more goals scored;
*Only one game ended in 0-0 during the round robin stages;
*Australia, Costa Rico, Iceland and Morocco all failed to win a game while Egypt and Panama failed to get a point;
*For the first time since 1938 Germany failed to make it to the knock out stage after got beaten by South Korea 2-0;
*Japan qualified for the knock out stage due to receiving less yellow cards than Senegal and then lost it to Belgium despite leading 2-0 up for 51 minutes in the first knock out stage;
*No team from the Africa continent made it to the knock out stage;
*No team from South America made it to the semi-finals;

The next FIFA World Cup final will be played in Qatar in 2022.

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