Sports fans will be salivating at the 12 months ahead, with the World Cup in South Africa the centrepiece of a packed year. The African Cup of Nations is the first major football event - it is currently being played in Angola, with some of the Premier League's top stars competing for their home nations. The second Merseyside derby of the campaign is just weeks away as the season reaches its climax, with European and domestic cup finals to come in Hamburg, Madrid and Wembley.


Away from football, the calendar is full of big events and festivals. Vancouver will host the Winter Olympics througout February, while athletes will be travelling to Delhi for the latest staging of the Commonwealth Games in October. On the cricket front, England and Australia will again do battle in November as England look to retain the Ashes away from home, while golf fans will be waiting for the Ryder Cup in Wales at the start of October.


Here is our guide to the sports events you will not want to miss in 2010:





African Cup of Nations - 10th - 31st January, Angola


Liverpool vs. Everton - 6th February, Anfield


Carling Cup Final - 28th February, Wembley


UEFA Europa League final - 12th May, Hamburg


FA Cup final - 15th May, Wembley


UEFA Champions League final - 22nd May, Madrid


FIFA World Cup - 11th June - 11th July, South Africa





Winter Olympics - 12th - 28th February, Vancouver


European Athletics Championships - 27th July - 1st August, Barcelona


Commonwealth Games - 3rd - 14th October, Delhi





Australia vs. England Ashes series begins - 25th November, Australia





6 Nations - 6th February - 20th March


Challenge Cup final - 28th August, Wembley


Super League Grand final - 2nd October, Manchester



Horse Racing


Cheltenham Festival - 16th - 19th March


Grand National meeting - 8th - 10th April, Aintree





The Open Championship - 15th - 18th July, St Andrews


The Ryder Cup - 1st - 3rd October, Wales



Other sports


Superbowl XLIV -7th February, Miami


Formula 1 season begins - 12th March, Bahrain


Snooker World Championship - 17th April - 3rd May, Sheffield


Wimbledon - 21st June - 4th July


2010: A blockbuster year of sport

By Chris Shaw, Chief Sports Reporter

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The football World Cup, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games are the festivals of sport in 2010

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