Happy New Year! At FIFA.com we hope all our users have had an enjoyable holiday season, have begun 2013 on the right foot and have high hopes for the year ahead. Are you all ready to break in your new diaries and calendars? We're here to help you by bringing you some of the key footballing dates ahead over the coming 12 months, so let’s get to it!
Don’t put away your elegant festive attire just yet, as it is just such get-up that would suit the FIFA Ballon D’Or Gala 2012, where the finest performers of the past year will receive their awards. On 7 January, FIFA.com’s editorial team will bring you everything that happens at the stellar event at Zurich’s Kongresshaus, which is set to welcome the crème de la crème of the football world.
In terms of competitive national team action, that will start in Africa, more specifically South Africa, where the 2013 edition of the CAF African Cup of Nations will be held. What is more, said tournament will also reveal the continent’s representative for the much-anticipated FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil.
The Festival of Champions itself kicks off on 15 June, with the final on 30 June in Rio de Janeiro. June is indeed to be a hectic month, with the FIFA U-20 World Cup running from the 21st of that month through to 13 July in Turkey.
While there are no FIFA women’s showpieces this year, there is a return for the cream of the global beach soccer crop. The always spectacular FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will this time be played out on the sands of Tahiti, between 18 and 28 September.
And a little later in the year – and back in the 11-a-side game – it will be the turn of the younger generation, as the United Arab Emirates are preparing to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup from 17 October to 8 November.
Battling it out for passage for Brazil
November will also feature two crucial matchdays in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, as it is during that month the intercontinental play-offs will be played. On 15 and 19 November the Asian Zone and South American Zone representatives will go head-to-head, as will one side from the CONCACAF and Oceania Zones respectively. At stake: the final two places at Brazil 2014.
Of course, before that stage comes around, rounds of qualifying matches remain across the various continents. The first of these matchdays are in February, with the intensity building through ties in March, June, September and finally in October.
The icing on the cake of an already tantalising looking year will be the FIFA Club World Cup which, having spent six of the past eight years in Japan, will be hosted in Morocco in 2013. Over the course of the year, FIFA.com will not take its collective eyes off the respective qualifying competitions for this prestigious event, such as for example, the UEFA Champions League – whose final will be played on 25 May at Wembley – or the Copa Libertadores de America.
National team friendlies, men’s and women’s domestic league and cup action, futsal competitions, qualifying encounters for all the aforementioned international competitions... Planet Football’s cup runneth over in 2013, and there is no better place to stay informed than FIFA.com.
Have your say!
Which footballing event in 2013 are you most looking forward to?