Summer is here and with it the start of an exciting run of major sporting events around the world. Big tournaments incite passion in players and supporters, and a classic event lives long in the memory, and many people who aren’t sports fanatics are often drawn in, entertained, and inspired.
After a miserable 2020 and part of 2021, crowd capacities are back to full strength, and fans and bettors alike are looking forward to all the action.
So, what’s coming up? Let’s take a look at some of the big sports competitions on the near horizon (not in chronological order).
FIFA World Cup, Qatar, 21st November – 18th December
The organisers wisely decided that scorching temperatures in the summertime in the Middle East meant postponing the greatest tournament of them all until winter – with the Final itself scheduled for a few days before Christmas.
The World Cup is always an inspirational tournament that unites every continent – we’ve seen it hosted in Europe, North and South America, East Asia, and Africa, but this is the first time it’s being held in the Middle East.
Representing Africa at the finals will be Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Senegal.
Nigeria will be disappointed not to have made it to their 4th successive World Cup (they have qualified six times in total), but bettors in the country can still enjoy placing wagers with promotion codes from promotion-code.com.ng.
It’s a shock that Italy didn’t progress to the finals – the European champions lost their form at a crucial time during the qualification.
France, England, Belgium, Brazil, and Argentina are among the favourites this time around, but as we’ve seen, anything can happen.
NBA Finals, 2nd – 19th June
The NBA Finals look set to be a classic, with two resurgent teams vying for the championship.
Golden State Warriors take on Boston Celtics, with the Warriors going in slight favourites with the bookies.
Celtics make their first finals appearance since 2010 – the last time they took the championship back to Massachusetts was 2008 – and will be looking to regain the form that has deserted them over the last decade.
Warriors are also looking to recapture the glories of old, and coming off a dominant 4-1 win over Dallas they could well cement the legacy of their modern era.
However, they will be facing the best defence in the NBA, as well as a formidable attack featuring old veterans and rising stars.
And if the Celtics win they’ll overtake the Lakers as the most decorated team in NBA history. There’s a lot at stake, and some exciting action to look forward to.
Wimbledon, 27th June – 10th July
It’s the tennis tournament they all want to win, Wimbledon has provided epic moments and high drama over the years, and there’s no reason to suggest this year will be any different.
The serene grass courts in southwest London come with a controversial backdrop (Russian players are excluded from the tournament due to the situation in Ukraine), and plenty at stake for some of the top stars.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his men’s singles title, after the furore over COVID19 regulations which marred the Australian Open, and will go in a heavy favourite over long-time rival Rafa Nadal.
Other men’s favourites include Stefanos Tstisipas and Daniil Medvedev, and some are even tipping 40-year-old Roger Federer to bring the fight to the imperious Djokovic.
But upsets are possible, as proven by Britain’s Emma Raducanu, who won the US Open spectacularly as a qualifier.
Raducanu will be looking to build on that victory, and improve on her performance last time out when she had to retire due to illness after a promising start.
The women’s draw is wide open following the shock retirement of Ash Barty earlier this year.
Rugby League World Cup, England, 15th October – 19th November
The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle of the international game.
Rugby league has a massive, loyal following around the world, and this year (actually it’s been rescheduled from 2021) it’s hosted by England, where the sport is immensely popular.
The hosts kick off the tournament against Samoa at St. James’ Park, Newcastle on 15th October.
New Zealand are the betting favourites, but England, Australia, France, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland are all strong sides, and the competition looks like it’ll be fierce.
The weather could be a factor, autumn in England can be unpredictable, and wet, cold, or windy conditions could well favour the Northern Hemisphere teams, and especially upset those from the Pacific Islands.
Whoever comes out on top, neutral fans will be treated to an exciting and dramatic tournament, and the action could draw some casual spectators into rugby-league-mania.
So, plenty of great sporting events coming up, and opportunities to see some of the world’s elite sportsmen and women competing for the biggest prizes. Great for spectators, and those who like to have a flutter.