Paris: Winter Olympics in Beijing and Fifa World Cup in Qatar are top sporting events to mark the coming year.
- Beijing's Winter Olympics -
Beijing stages the Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20 under some of the strictest rules for a mass sporting event since the pandemic began.
Everybody attending, including athletes, must be fully vaccinated or face a 21-day quarantine and will be kept in a "closed-loop" bubble from the moment they set foot in the Chinese capital.
Unlike the Tokyo Olympics, there will be spectators but ticket sales are restricted to people living in China.
Activists are calling for a diplomatic boycott over China's rights record, with an outcry over the fate of tennis star Peng Shuai, who accused a top Communist Party politician of sexual assault, causing Beijing more headaches.
- World Cup -
Qatar will host the first World Cup in the Middle East, hoping to confound critics who question holding football's showcase in the Gulf state.
The tournament in November and December will be the first played in the northern hemisphere's winter months, after a switch to avoid Qatar's searing summer.
The tournament will be fought out in eight venues from November 21, with the final in the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium on December 18. -- AFP