Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 2013 - a Year Full of Sporting Activities

As the curtain draws on sporting activities in the outgoing year, Daily Trust takes a look into the future and chronicles here for our readers, some of the major sporting events that would happen in the year 2013.

Nigeria, which had a disastrous showing in the outgoing year, is looking forward with great hope of redeeming her sporting image at continental and global sport meets in 2013.

Interestingly, the country's sportsmen and women have qualified for some of the major African and world sports events lined up in the coming year; while some are at the verge of picking their berths in the qualifying campaigns.

Football

In football, the biggest football event on the continent of Africa will be the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in South Africa January 19 - February 10.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will battle for honours at the biennial soccer show, having failed to qualify for the last edition held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Morocco will also play hosts to the Africa U-17 Championship, which will have Nigeria as one of the participating nations between April 13 and 27 next year; while the U-20 tournament will be played between March 16 and 30 next year in Algeria, with the semi-finalists qualifying to represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey from June.

Like the AYC, the semi-finalists of this competition will also fly Africa's flag at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE.

Other football events lined-up in the coming year are the 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations will take place in Bahrain between January 5 - January 18.

The 2013 UEFA Europa League Final will be played at Amsterdam Arena, Netherlands on May 15, while the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final will played at Wembley Stadium, London on May 25.

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held in United States will hold from July 7 - 28 July; while 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held in Brazil June from 15 - June 30. June 21 - July 13 will be the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Between June 15 - June 28 the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship will be played in Israel; the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 will be held in Sweden between July 10 - July 28, while October 17 - November 8 is the date for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

Athletics

In athletics, the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden from March 1 - March 3; the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland will hold between March 24, while the World Championships in Moscow, Russia will hold from August 10 to 18.

On the local scene, the 9th edition of the Obudu international mountain race will hold, with organizers assuring of improved organization that would surpass previous editions.

Basketball

Besides the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) organised DStv and Zenith Bank leagues for men and women, the federation plans to start under-aged competitions in the coming year to help discover talents for the national teams.

In August, the African Championship which serves as the qualifiers for the FIBA World Championship will take place in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire while the women's Championship will hold in Maputo in September.

On February 17, the All-Star Game will come up in Houston, the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament will be played March 19-April 8; while March 23-April 2 is the date for the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament. The Euroleague and the Eurocup will be played from October - May.

The EuroBasket Women 2013 in France will take place June 15-30 while between August-September will be the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship in Venezuela, to be followed by the EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia from September 4-22.

Tennis

The Lagos Governor's Cup Tournament, which is the biggest tennis tournament in the country will come in November, same for Dala Hard Court in Kano, which is bouncing back strongly after several years in the cooler.

As usual, all the major tennis championships around the globe will hold, beginning with the US Open in January, the Australian Open, the French Open, The Championships, Wimbledon

Open, WTA Tour Championships, ATP World Tour Finals, Fed Cup and the Davis Cup.

Play will begin at the Australian Open in Melbourne on 14 January.

Beach soccer

In beach soccer, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti will hold September 18 - September 28.

Handball

The two major events in handball in the coming year are the World Men's Handball Championship in Spain and 2013 World Women's Handball Championship in Serbia.

Road cycling

The only major global event in the road cycling next year is the UCI Road World Championships in Tuscany, Italy, which holds September 21 - September 29.

Volleyball

The major volleyball events in the coming year are the World League, FIVB World Grand Prix and the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. There will also be the Euro Volley Women in Germany and Switzerland September 6 - September 14 and the Euro Volley in Poland and Denmark September 20 - September 29.

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