It’s fair to say 2020 was a disappointing year for sport in Hong Kong. But we’ve dwelled on that quite enough. As 2020 turns into 2021, we’re instead looking ahead in optimism at what the coming year is expected to bring to the city. Here’s what we know as far as a schedule for sporting events in 2021: AFC Champions League Kitchee’s Premier League title win last season means they will join the AFC Champions League in the group stage next season. The date of the draw is still TBD, but matchday one of the group stage is provisionally scheduled for February 23-24 . AFC Cup As league runners-up, Eastern will join the AFC Cup play-offs, which are provisionally scheduled for April 20-21 . Best of 2020: Osaka, Son, Hamilton and the other athletes who shone during a difficult year Asia Rugby Championship The 2021 edition of the Asia Rugby Men’s Championship is set to begin in May with Hong Kong’s first match away to Malaysia on May 29 , before they play away to South Korea on June 5 . Hong Kong then host Malaysia on June 19 and South Korea on June 26 . The 2021 Asia Rugby Women’s Championship is being hosted by Hong Kong from March 5-13, with Japan and Kazakhstan also taking part. The tournament is also acting as a World Cup qualifier. Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg one of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series is scheduled for August 28-29 . Clearwater Bay Open The PGA Tour Series-China was cancelled altogether in 2020, which meant there was no Clearwater Bay Open. Back in July, officials spoke of plans for the 2021 edition of the tour, but there’s been no official word on that yet, meaning the future of the Clearwater Bay Open is up in the air. Fifa World Cup qualifiers Hong Kong’s next 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier is scheduled for March 25 away in Iran. On March 30 they host Iraq at Hong Kong Stadium. FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Hong Kong Hong Kong Coliseum is set to host a leg of the Volleyball Nations League 2021 from June 1-3 with China, Italy, Netherlands and Dominican Republic expected in town. Global Rapid Rugby The future of GRR, and with it the fortunes of the Hong Kong-based South China Tigers, are in doubt before a single competitive match was ever played. The 2020-21 season was cancelled in October, going the same way as the inaugural season back in April. There are still rumblings that the enterprise will get under way after 2021, but at the moment that seems like wishful thinking. HKFA Premier League The 2020-21 campaign of the Hong Kong Premier League was able to get through two matchdays before the latest lockdown of facilities threw on the brakes. There’s no official word yet on when it will return to action. HKRU Premiership Similarly to the Premier League, the HKRU Premiership barely managed to get its latest campaign under way before the fourth wave of the pandemic put a block on proceedings. Expect it to return around the same time as the HKPL. Best guesses are around February time. Best of 2020: ‘The Last Dance’, ‘All or Nothing’ and the year’s best sports documentaries Hong Kong 10s The Hong Kong Football Club 10s, to give it its full name, saw its 2020 edition cancelled, and also scrapped plans for its 2021 outing. Plans are afoot for a triumphant return in 2022. Hong Kong Athletics Championships The 2020 Hong Kong Athletics Championships, vital for some athletes who still have hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, were postponed this month. Organisers are eager to press ahead with the flagship event, however, and are in discussions with the government to agree on a pandemic-safe set-up to hold the event. Hong Kong Badminton Open The 2021 edition of the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open, to give it its formal title, is scheduled for November 16-21 at the Hong Kong Coliseum. Hong Kong Cricket Sixes and T20 Blitz The Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes were last held in 2017 and although there were hopes of revitalising the format last year, the event is likely retired for good, according to organisers Cricket Hong Kong. The T20 Blitz enjoyed some success as the body tried to adapt to the changing times, but sponsorship opportunities have run aground and there are no plans to bring it back in 2021. Hong Kong E-Prix For a third straight year, the Hong Kong E-Prix is left off the season calendar. It’s unlikely to return any time soon. Hong Kong Golf Open After hosting the 2019 edition early in 2020, it was hoped organisers could repeat that feat in early 2021. It wasn’t to be. The 2020 edition is likely to be cancelled with a hope of having the 2021 edition in November, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet and the event was left off the European Tour’s provisional calendar. Hong Kong Ladies Golf Open The 2020 edition was canned and, so far, there are no plans in place for 2021. Hong Kong Marathon Last held in February 2019, last year’s Marathon was eventually scrapped. Organisers had pushed it back in the hope of holding it later in 2020, but those plans never came to fruition. Its regular slot in the sports calendar is January, but 2021’s race has now been pushed back to October 24 . Hong Kong National Tennis Championships After a long pause in action for the city’s top tennis players, they finally managed some competitive action at the National Tennis Championships in November. The back end of the 2021 calendar isn’t yet confirmed. Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Earlier this month, organisers announced that the 2021 edition of the city’s blue riband event would finally go ahead from November 5-7 after almost two years since the last edition. Hong Kong Soccer Sevens It’s been 18 months since the Soccer Sevens were held, but there is still no confirmation that it will go ahead in 2021, although, after the 2020 edition was scrapped, organisers vowed it would go ahead in the coming year. Hong Kong Squash Open The 2020 edition was set to go ahead in November, but was called off late on. No 2021 schedule has been released yet. Best of 2020: Jeremy Lin, Sun Yang or Novak Djokovic? What were top SCMP Sport stories of year? Hong Kong Table Tennis Open Last year’s event, scheduled to go ahead in May 2020, was cancelled. Governing body the ITTF has so far left Hong Kong off its calendar for the 2021 campaign. Hong Kong Tennis Open In September, the 2020 edition was cancelled shortly before its October date on the calendar. At the time, organisers said they hoped to reinstate the event in 2021. But there’s no sign of it on the provisional 2021 calendar from the WTA. Longines Masters Back before its February slot, organisers scrapped the 2020 edition. There is no word yet on a 2021 event. Lunar New Year Cup The traditional Lunar New Year Cup showcase, which would normally be played on February 12, will not go ahead in 2021. New World Harbour Race Same story here: 2020 edition was canned, no word yet on 2021 edition. Oxfam Trailwalker The 2020 edition was postponed from its November date to January 29-31 , then cancelled. The 2021 event will be held from September 24-26. Premier League Asia Trophy Once a cornerstone of the Premier League’s preseason, for obvious reasons, the Asia Trophy has been on hiatus for the past couple of seasons. Now, following the EPL’s very public spat with its Chinese broadcasters it’s unlikely to return to these shores any time soon. Spartan Race, Hong Kong Spartan battled bravely (would you expect anything less) to continue with a programme during the coronavirus-ravaged year, but inevitably, its main event fell by the wayside. Organisers are yet to announce when their main event will be staged in 2021.