Happy New Year! 2017 is upon us and is set to feature fantastic football aplenty. To make sure that you do not miss any of the must-see events in store, FIFA.com has rounded up the highlights on the horizon. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your new diary and note down the following key dates!
We will kick off the year with a bang in Zurich at the inaugural The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony. On 9 January, we will finally find out which two stars have got the nod as the top men’s and women’s players of 2016. The winners of the accolades for the outstanding coaches and the most beautiful goal, among other distinctions, will also be revealed, as will the FIFA FIFPro World11. You will be able to follow all the action from this gala occasion live on FIFA.com and our digital platforms.
Keep your eye on the ball
The headline FIFA tournament of the year is the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017, which will run from 17 June to 2 July. The continental title winners from each confederation will take their places alongside the reigning FIFA World Cup™ holders and the hosts to vie for global glory in the Tournament of Champions, which will be contested across four cities – Kazan, Sochi, Moscow and St Petersburg – and will serve as a dress rehearsal a year ahead of the next World Cup. Remember that tickets are already on sale: you have until 19 January 2017 to apply for yours in the current phase.
The field for the competition has been finalised except for one slot, reserved for the African champions, who will be decided at the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon from 14 January to 5 February.
Fans of the sand, meanwhile, are sure to have a ball following the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which is bound for the Bahamas from 27 April to 7 May. Last but not least, the FIFA Club World Cup will once again close off the year in December, on this occasion in the United Arab Emirates.
Spotlight on the starlets
Up-and-coming talents from all over the planet will have their chance to wow the world in 2017, with the FIFA U-20 World Cup set to take Korea Republic by storm from 20 May to 11 June and the U-17 version of the global extravaganza heading to India from 6 to 28 October.
As ever, FIFA.com will be rolling out comprehensive coverage of these events, as well as bringing you regular updates beforehand on how qualifying is shaping up across the different continents.
The big stage also beckons for virtual footballers this year. The FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 is already up and running, with millions of gamers seeking to claim one of the 32 spots at the Grand Final in London. Besides the sweet taste of success, there is an extremely juicy Grand Prize up for grabs.
Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will conclude in the final months of the year. FIFA.com will again be a one-stop shop to stay up to speed on these preliminary competitions, the remaining fixtures from which will be spread between March and November. Check in to check out the standings in the various zones and the latest news about all the national teams involved, as well as to follow all the incidents in the hundreds of matches still to be played in order to decide who will be going to Russia.
Once we know the identity of the 31 countries that will be joining the Russians in the battle for the global crown, appetites will be whetted further with the Official Draw. As usual, FIFA.com will be giving you a front-row seat for the occasion and serving up an abundance of exclusive content.
Where the female game is concerned, we will be keeping a particularly keen eye on the UEFA Women’s EURO in the Netherlands from 16 July to 6 August. Indeed, it will provide us with a privileged insight into the form of the leading European nations before they embark on the quest to book their berths at the next FIFA Women’s World Cup™.
Of course, we cannot forget the steady supply of club football all year round, from leagues to domestic cups and continental competitions, which you can keep track of as they happen with our Live Scores section.
Too much information to take in all at once? Fear not: simply stay tuned to FIFA.com or the FIFA App and follow our accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep on top of everything during what promises to be another fantastic year in football!