Moscow: There will be no British referee at the tournament for the first time since 1938, although New Zealand citizen Simon Lount, who lived in Leicester until he was 23, has been selected.
But Martin Atkinson and Fellow referee Jon Moss will also take part in the 18-day cycle trip to Russia. At the time of departure, the group had already raised almost £52,000 of their £60,000 target to be split between St David’s Hospice Care, the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge, but it’s one I think we’re all relishing,” said Atkinson. “In 2016 we cycled to all 20 Premier League grounds, which totalled around 1,000 miles, so we’re really upping the ante for this one.
“We’ve been saying it’ll be 18 days of hurt, but it’s all for some brilliant charities, so we’re ready to go through that pain barrier!”