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International Football Calendar 2021: Major Football Events and Tournaments

International Football Calendar 2021: Major Football Events and Tournaments

They say that football is the king of all sports. In 2021, this sentiment rings truer than ever before. This year’s football calendar is jam-packed with international, Olympic, and club competition action.

Fans of the beautiful game will get to see the UEFA Euro 2020 take place alongside the Tokyo Olympics, African Nations World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and the Copa América. And this is on top of all of the regular national and international club competitions, as well as the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Major football tournaments of 2021

There were two major cancellations this year. The UEFA Women’s Euro was postponed to 2022, whereas the FIFA U-20 World Cup was canceled outright. The loss of these two events is more than made up, however, by the other entries. 

With so much going on, it’s easy for even the most hardcore football fan to get confused. Which is why the football team of 22Bet has created this calendar of all the major football events of 2021.

Bookmark this page to make sure you don’t miss the next big football event!

Football Competitions in January 2021

2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN 2020)

Dates: 16 January – 7 February 2021

The international football calendar kicks off on January 16 with the sixth CAF African Nations Championship (aka CHAN 2020), which will take place in Cameroon.

What Makes the CHAN 2020 Football Tournament Special?

For those of you unfamiliar with African football, the African Nations Cup is a national squad competition that is unique in the football world because it only features players who play in the national club championships of the countries they represent. The purpose of this is to strengthen the national tournaments of CAF member nations.

CHAN 2020 Favorites

As of teams to look out for, 2016 champions DR Congo is expected to have another strong showing this year, with Jackson Muleka and Joel Beya likely being CHAN 2020’s brightest stars. 

Jackson Muleka and Joel Beya of the DR Congo national team

Jackson Muleka and Joel Beya of the DR Congo national team.

The reigning champions, Morocco, are also expected to show a dominating performance this year. During the qualification stages, the Morrocan squad obliterated Algeria despite not having five of their key players available to them.

Other nations to look out for are Tunisia, Guinea, and Mali.

February 2021 Football Events 

2020 FIFA Club World Cup

Dates: ‎1–11 February 2021

The next big football event will start on the first day of February. The 17th FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Qatar.

Who Will Play in the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup?

The tournament will feature the likes of UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich, CAF CL champions Al Ahly, AFC Champions League title holders Ulsan Hyundai, CONCACAF CL winners UANL, Auckland City of the OFC, the champion of the Copa Libertadores, and Qatar Star League champions Al-Duhail (who qualified as hosts). 

Teams participating in the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup

2020 FIFA Club World Cup Favorites

The FIFA Club World Cup title will most likely be contested between Bayern Munich and the Copa Liberadores champion.

Football Tournaments in May 2021

2020 – 2021 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final

Date: 16 May 2021

Fans of women’s football have no doubt circled May 16 in their calendars. On this day, we will find out the winner of the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League. The final game will be played at the Gamla Ullevi stadium in Sweden, which has a capacity of 16,600.

UEFA Women’s Champions League Final Favorites

Lyon’s female squad is considered to be the heavy favourites in this tournament. And for a good reason. The team won the previous five UWCL titles and cruised past Juventus in the Round of 32, beating them 2-6 on aggregate. 

Will Lyon manage to win their sixth Champions League title in as many years?

Lyon women team in Women's Champions League

Lyon’s women team.

UEFA Europa League Finals

Date: May 26, 2021

The finals of the 50th Europa League will be held at the Stadion Miejski in Gdansk, Poland. The tournament is guaranteed to have a new champion this year as last year’s titleholders, Sevilla, have managed to qualify for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League

2021 UEFA Europa League Favorites

As of January 2021, the main favorites for this edition of the Europa League are Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Napoli, and Leicester.

UEFA Champions League Finals

Date: May 29, 2021

This year’s Champions League winner will be decided on May 29 at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Turkey.

UEFA Champions League Finals Favorites

The current favorites to lift the most prestigious trophy in club football are last year’s winners Bayern Munich (Bundesliga, Germany), who have finished group play with 5 wins and 1 draw. Other group winners include Real Madrid (La Liga, Spain), Manchester City (English Premier League), Liverpool (English Premier League), Chelsea (English Premier League), Borrusia Dortmund (Bundesliga, Germany), Juventus (Serie A, Italy), and Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1, France).

June 2021 International Football Calendar

UEFA Euro 2020

Dates: 11 June – 11 July

The 16th edition of Europe’s most prestigious national team competition is scheduled to take place in June-July 2021, having been postponed for a whole year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In honor of the tournament’s 60th anniversary, it will be held in 12 separate countries, with the final game taking place at Wembley Stadium in London.

UEFA Euro 2020 Favorites

As of January 2021, England are 4/1 favorites to lift the Euro 2020 trophy. As the finals will be held at Wembley Stadium, the Three Lions will have home field advantage if they advance to the championship game.

Belgium are the bookies’ second favorite team, being offered at 5/1, with such members of the golden generation as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, and Romelu Lukaku making a case for the squad.

Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, and Romelu Lukaku in Belgian national team

Least Likely Teams to Win the Euro 2020

The top 3 least likely teams to lift the trophy are Ukraine, Switzerland, and Denmark. 

2021 Copa América

Dates: June 11 – July 10

The 47th CONMEBOL Copa América will be held in Colombia and Argentina between June 11 and July 10, 2021. The final match of this football tournament will take place at the Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez in Barranquilla, Colombia, the home turf of Atlético Junior and the Columbian national team. 

2021 Copa América Favorites

Reigning champions Brazil are the favorite to lift the trophy, having such world superstars as Neymar on their rosters. 

A name that is mentioned just as often as Brazil is their perennial rival, Argentina.

Other teams to look out for include Uruguay, Peru, and the final match’s hosts, Colombia, whose star player, James Rodriguez, would be a great addition to any team’s roster. 

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

Dates: July 21 – August 7

While Olympic football is nowhere near as popular as FIFA-governed international football, it is still deserving of a mention in our calendar of football events in 2021. Both men’s and women’s football tournaments will be held as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics football stadiums

Tokyo National Stadium, Saitama Stadium and Int. Stadium Yokohama.

What Makes Olympic Football Different from Other Competitions?

If you’re not familiar with men’s Olympic football, then the easiest way to think about it is as the U-23 World Cup. This means that only players born after December 31, 1996 will be able to participate in the tournament, as it is still officially being called the 2020 event. The women’s tournament does not have an age restriction. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Football Favorites

Brazil are the current reigning Olympic Champions, having won the tournament on their home turf during the Rio 2016 games. They are also the current tournament favorites, but Spain and Argentina follow closely behind. Germany enter the tournament as the current women’s champions.

Canceled 2021 Football Events:

2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup

Cancellation date: December 24, 2020.

The under 20 edition of the FIFA World Cup was supposed to take place in Indonesia in 2020. The event was first moved to 2021 and then canceled altogether on December 24, 2020. 

When Will the Next Edition of the U-20 FIFA World Cup Take Place?

The next edition of the U-20 FIFA World Cup will take place in 2023 in Indonesia.

UEFA Women’s Euro 2021

Rescheduled to: July 6 – July 31, 2022

The UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 was supposed to take place in England in this summer, with the final game being played at Wembley Stadium. However, the tournament was postponed to 2022, most likely to avoid it clashing with the men’s edition of the same tournament and the Copa America.

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