In Focus

21 of the biggest sports events in 2021

Olympics, Paralympics, Euros and various world cups are on the sporting calendar

After all the postponements and cancellations in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the next 12 months is poised to be a sporting feast. 

The Olympics, Paralympics, golf’s Ryder Cup and football’s European Championship will all take place after a year’s delay. Other major events on the 2021 sporting calendar include the Lions rugby tour of South Africa, the women’s Rugby World Cup and the men’s, women’s and wheelchair Rugby League World Cups. 

As things stand here’s 21 of the biggest sporting events scheduled to take place in 2021. 


3 January

World Darts Championship final 

The 2020-21 PDC World Darts Championship started on 15 December at Alexandra Palace in London and the final will be played on 3 January.


7 February 

NFL: Super Bowl LV

The NFL’s Super Bowl champion for the 2020-21 season will be decided at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.


8-21 February

Tennis: Australian Open 

The Australian Open, the first tennis grand slam of the season, will take place in Melbourne in February after being pushed back three weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Defending men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic heads down under looking to win a ninth title at Melbourne Park.


February and March

Cricket: India vs. England Test series

England will travel to India in early 2021 to play four Test matches, five international Twenty20s and three one-day internationals.


February and March

Rugby union: Six Nations

After a stop-start championship in 2020 England eventually took the crown finishing top of the table ahead of France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. The opening round of games in 2021 are on 6-7 February. 


8-10 April

Horse racing: Randox Health Grand National Festival 

With no Grand National held in 2020, racing fans had to settle for a virtual version of the famous steeplechase. In 2021 the National is scheduled for Saturday 10 April at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.


5-11 April 

Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods

Masters winner Dustin Johnson was awarded the green jacket by Tiger Woods

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Men’s golf: Masters Tournament 

By the time the next Masters is held at Augusta National Golf Club in April Dustin Johnson will only have had to wait four months to defend his title. The American won the delayed 2020 major by a record-breaking score in November.


17 April to 3 May 

World Snooker Championship 

After conquering the Crucible for the sixth time in 2020, “The Rocket” Ronnie O’Sullivan will once again be the player to beat when snooker’s world championship is held in Sheffield.


29 May 

Men’s football: 2021 Uefa Champions League final 

Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul missed out on hosting the 2020 Champions League final because of Covid-19. However, European club football’s biggest match is scheduled to be held in the Turkish capital in 2021.


11 June to 10 July 

Men’s football: Copa América 2021 

At the same as the Euros, South American nations will be battling it out to win their continental championship, the CONMEBOL Copa América. Argentina and Colombia are the host countries.


11 June to 11 July

Men’s football: Uefa European Championship

Twelve cities across Europe will play host to the month-long championship. Still branded as Euro 2020, the tournament sees England, Scotland and Wales all involved. Both semi-finals and the final will be played at Wembley Stadium in London. Portugal are the defending champions.


July and August 

British & Irish Lions rugby union team

Getty Images

Rugby union: Lions tour of South Africa 

The British & Irish Lions head to South Africa to face the reigning rugby union world champions. The Lions are scheduled to play eight matches on the tour: five warm-up games and then three Tests against the Springboks. 


23 July to 8 August 

Tokyo Olympic Games 

The biggest event to be cancelled in 2020 was the summer Olympic Games. After a delay of 12 months, Japan’s capital city Tokyo will finally welcome the sporting world in July and August.


24 August to 5 September 

Tokyo Paralympic Games 

A couple of weeks after the Olympics end, Tokyo then gears up to host the Paralympics. More than 500 events will be held across 22 sports.


4-6 September 

Women’s golf: 2021 Solheim Cup

Women golfers from Team Europe and Team USA go head-to-head for the Solheim Cup at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Team Europe are the reigning champions after winning the 2019 edition at Gleneagles in Scotland.


18 September to 16 October

New Zealand beat England in the 2017 Rugby World Cup final

New Zealand beat England in the 2017 Rugby World Cup final

David Rogers/Getty Images

Rugby World Cup 2021

The ninth edition of the women’s Rugby World Cup will be held in New Zealand. The host nation are also the reigning champions after beating England in the 2017 final. 


21-26 September 

Men’s golf: 43rd Ryder Cup 

Just weeks after the Solheim Cup, it’s the turn of the European and American men’s teams to battle it out for golfing glory. The 43rd Ryder Cup will be held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.


3 October

London Marathon 

In 2020 only the elite runners were able to compete in the London Marathon. Organisers and charities will be hoping to see the club athletes and fun runners return to the streets of the English capital.


23 October to 27 November

Rugby League World Cup 2021 

Rugby league history will be made in 2021 when the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cups are held at the same time in England. A total 61 matches take place across the three tournaments. 


October and November 

Cricket: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

India will host the 2021 ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup following the 2020 tournament’s postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 


November 2021 to January 2022

Ashes cricket: Australia vs. England 

Australia and England rekindle international cricket’s biggest rivalry when the two nations go head to head in the Ashes. The five-Test series is scheduled to start at the Gabba in Brisbane.


The history of Pride
People celebrating Pride in London
In Depth

The history of Pride

The countries that have banned conversion therapy
Conversion therapy protest
Why we’re talking about . . .

The countries that have banned conversion therapy

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin
G7 leaders
Getting to grips with . . .

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin

Quiz of The Week
Protesters outside US Supreme Court
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

What happened to Zara Aleena?
Zara Aleena
In Brief

What happened to Zara Aleena?

When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?
Paper banknotes
Business Briefing

When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?

The Week Footer Banner