2023 was a massive year for sports, with several major sporting events taking place, including the Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Netball World Cup and the Men’s Hockey World Cup.
However, if you thought that was massive, just wait until you see what 2024 has store!
2024 brings with it some of the most prestigious and most-watched sporting events in the world. So, it’s time to whip our your diary, make note of the important dates, and prepare to yourself in the glory, drama, heartbreak and controversy that will no doubt define them all.
The 5 biggest sporting events of 2024
5. Socceroos World Cup Qualifiers
When: Throughout 2024
The Socceroos plucked the heartstrings of the entire nation, and millions of fans around the world, with their valiant performances in the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. They notably defeated Tunisia and Denmark to progress to the round of 16 before narrowly succumbing to eventual champions Argentina 2-1.
On the back of these performances, Australia began their path to the 2026 Soccer World Cup, which will take place in Canada, Mexico and the USA, with a convincing 7-0 win against Bangladesh and a professional 1-0 away win against Palestine.
In March, they will play Lebanon twice in the space of 5 days before return fixtures against Bangladesh (away) and Palestine (home) in June.
If Australia progresses to the next round, they will be joined by 17 other first and second-placed teams, who will be split into three groups of six teams, with each of them playing home and away fixtures in those countries from September 2024 to June 2025.
Should the Socceroos place first or second in their group, they will qualify for the World Cup. If not, they can still qualify through a play-off system that runs well into 2025.
Let’s hope the Socceroos’ World Cup tickets are secured well before then.
4. Australian Open Tennis
When: 14 Jan to 28 January, 2024
The first grand slam tennis tournament of the year kicks off in January 2024, with Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka looking to defend their men’s and women’s singles titles. No doubt, the fans of the lucky country will be hooked for two weeks as the best tennis players in the world put on a show at Melbourne Park.
Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek are the current favourites to take out the respective men’s and women’s titles in 2024. But fans will be hoping Rafael Nadal can overcome persistent injuries problems and add to his incredible Grand Slam tally.
With Nick Kyrgios out, Alex de Minaur is Australia’s best hope on the men’s side, while Kimberly Birrell and Astra Sharma lead the way for the Aussie girls.
3. Euro 2024
When: 14 June to 14 July, 2024
Although Australia takes part in the Eurovision Song Contest, it doesn’t compete in the European Football Championships. Nevertheless, scores of Aussies who regularly watch the EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 will no doubt be hooked for a month as some of the biggest names and teams in the football world lock horns.
The tournament takes place in Germany, who kick off the tournament against Scotland in the opening game. Die Mannschaft will hope they can conquer their recent poor tournament showings to lift the trophy on home soil, although the likes of France, England and Spain are highly fancied too.
Other countries like Croatia and, in particular, Portugal could spring a surprise, especially in what is sure to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last competition at this level. It’s one of the biggest events on the sports calendar, so mark this football tournament as one to watch in 2024’s schedule.
2. T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup
When: 4 June to 30 June, 2024
Australia brilliantly took out the Cricket ODI Men’s World Cup in India in 2023. They will be looking to do the same in the West Indies and USA in 2024 during the T20 World Cup. Current holders England will have different ideas, as will India, South Africa and New Zealand.
For the first time, this version of the tournament will be expanded to 20 teams. Currently, 12 have already qualified, with the likes of Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Panama and Rwanda in the mix to join them.
As big sporting events go, this cricket tournament is right up there. Hundreds of millions of fans around the world will be watching the games, hoping to see explosive batting from the likes of Glen Maxwell, Jos Butler, Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Rizwan, searing pace from Mark Wood, Mitchell Starc and Lockie Ferguson and bamboozling spin from Rashid Khan, Adil Rashid and Adam Zampa.
1. Paris Olympic Games
When: 26 July to 11 August, 2024
The Olympic Summer Games is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, if not the biggest. Between July and August, most of the world’s population will watch some part of the XXXIII version of this athletic competition, and in Australia, we have high hopes that it could lead to our best-ever Olympic medal haul.
Australia will send a team of around 460 athletes to Paris to compete, with the swimmers representing our best chance of medal success at this Olympics. If the recent world championships in Japan are anything to go by, we could win as many as 10 gold medals in the pool. The likes of Ariarne Titmus, Sam Short, and Emma and Kaylee McKeown are all heavy favourites for their respective events.
Elsewhere, Rohan Browning, Australia’s fastest man and Peter Bol represent excellent medal chances in the 100 metres and 800 metres races, while Kelsey Lee Barber will be looking to build on her gold medal success at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships at the Olympic Games.
When it comes to the world’s biggest sporting events, 2024 has something for every sports fan! So dust off your Aussie flags, give your green and gold a wash and get ready to show your national pride by shouting your support until you have practically lost your voice!