Wouldn’t it be nice if time just stood still every now and again? Fans of women’s football, for example, were reluctant to see 2019 come to an end. It was a year that has given them many memorable moments, among them the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. And as for Liverpool supporters, they would no doubt bring time to a halt in the hope of making the pleasure they have had over the last 12 months last forever.
Life on planet football moves fast, however, so fast that all the wonderful stories thrown up by 2019 are now but memories and will soon give way to yet more exciting tales. 2020 is set to be an action-packed year and to help you plan the 12 months ahead, FIFA.com brings you all the dates and events you need to make a note of in your diary.
Happy New Year football!
2020, an Olympic year
Competitions: Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments Tokyo 2020
Dates: 23 July-8 August (Men’s); 22 July-7 August (Women’s)
Brazil’s men brought an end to their long-running Olympic curse by winning gold on home soil in 2016. A Seleçao will now look to defend their title in Japan, something only four nations have achieved in the tournament’s history: Great Britain in 1908 and 1912, Uruguay in 1924 and 1928, Hungary in 1964 and 1968, and Argentina in 2004 and 2008.
As for the women’s competition, there will be no back-to back gold medals for Germany. The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ doubled up as Europe's qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020, with Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden taking the three berths on offer and the Germans missing out. Should they negotiate the Concacaf qualifiers safely, USA will start as one of the favourites for the title, given that they have won four of the six Women’s Olympic Football tournaments held to date, not to mention the last two Women's World Cups. Pia Sundhage’s Brazil, hosts Japan and the three European contenders also have the credentials to win gold.
Springboards to the top in the women's game
Competition: FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica/Panama 2020
Defending champions Japan and 2016 winners Korea DPR will represent Asia at this tournament along with Korea Republic. Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands will do likewise for Europe, while New Zealand will fly the flag for Oceania. Host nations Costa Rica and Panama will also be in the main draw.
Competition: FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020
Dates: 2-21 November
After successfully hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, India will stage its second world finals in 2020. The hosts will represent Asia along with Japan and Korea DPR. The qualifying competitions in the other confederations will take place in the coming months. All eyes in Europe will be on Spain, reigning world champions in the age group, who will be intent on making the trip to India to defend their title.
The pinnacle of the indoor game
Competition: FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020
Dates: 12 September-4 October
In hosting a FIFA tournament for the first time in its history, Lithuania will do everything in its power to ensure it is a success, as the president of the country’s football association, Tomas Danilevicius, recently told us. Only one team has so far won through to join the hosts: Solomon Islands, who were victorious in the Oceania qualifiers. Set to be held for the ninth time, the competition has crowned only three different champions since its inception: Brazil (5), Spain (2) and current holders Argentina. Will 2020 see a new name on the trophy?
Last tournament in current format
Competition: FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020
The FIFA Club World Cup will be revamped in 2021, with Qatar set to host the last tournament in the existing format at the end of 2020. Newly crowned following their victory over Flamengo in the 2019 final, Liverpool could well retain their UEFA Champions League title and represent Europe once more. Following its creation in 2000, the competition has been won 12 times by European teams and on four occasions by South America’s finest. Which confederation will hoist the trophy aloft for the final time before the tournament has its makeover?
Other key events in 2020
Qualifying competitions for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™
FIFA eClub World Cup (7-9 February)
FIFA eNations Cup (22-24 May)
FIFA eWorld Cup (August 2020)
UEFA EURO 2020 (12 June-12 July)
Copa America (12 June-12 July)
CONCACAF Nations League (June)
OFC Nations Cup (6-20 June)
CAF African Nations Championship (4-25 April)
CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (28 November-12 December)