USA has for the second edition in a row topped Sportcal’s Global Sports Nations Index, placing ahead of the United Kingdom and Russia, with a total score of 40,555.
The United Kingdom has risen two places having secured the UCI Road World Championships for Yorkshire in 2019; the WTF World Taekwondo Championships 2019 in Manchester, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021 which will take place across multiple cities in England.
China moves ahead of Canada having secured the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships 2018 as well as two major badminton events in the BWF World Championships 2018 and Sudirman Cup 2019.
France switches place with Brazil as the impact of the Fifa World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016 begins to fade.
Austria, having climbed three positions in November 2016’s index, climbs a further two positions, this time at the expense of Korea and Spain, having been awarded UCI’s Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in the disciplines of downhill and four-cross.
Denmark has increased its total score by more than any other nation since the last publication of the index, closing a gap of more than 3,000 points to overtake the Netherlands with the two nations placing 14th and 15th respectively. Since November 2016, Denmark has been awarded the IAAF 43rd World Cross Country Championships 2019, UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2019 and the Women's World Handball Championships 2023 which it will co-host with Norway and Sweden.
Switzerland climbs two positions in to 16th after winning bids for the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships 2019 and BWF World Championships 2019, pushing Qatar and Sweden down one position each whilst Australia remains in 19th position.
Hungary makes its way in to the top 20 global sports nations for the first time following a number of bid awards such as the Fencing World Championships and Modern Pentathlon World Championships, both for 2019. Despite withdrawing from the race to host the Olympic Games in 2024, Hungary has undoubtedly benefitted from the increase in international exposure, securing no less than four major world championships over the past 12 months alone.
The index covers a rolling 14-year rolling period and as we move in to 2017, events which took place in 2010 drop off the index. As a result, top scoring major events from 2010 such as the Fifa World Cup, which took place across South Africa; the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China; Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada; and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India no longer register points for these host cities and nations.
Outside of the top 20 Global Sports Nations, Belgium climbs highest, up seven places to 27th in the index. Belgium hosted last year’s UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships and is scheduled to host next year’s UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships.
The Philippines is the biggest climber (+16) ahead of Panama and Hong Kong (both +14). The Philippines was awarded the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 in November last year whilst Hong Kong will host this year’s UCI Track World Championships.
Singapore (-24), South Africa (-19) and Slovenia (-14) are the biggest fallers in this year’s index. Singapore hosted the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 which no longer registers within the analysis period of the index. South Africa withdrew from hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 which contributed to its fall in score whilst Slovenia’s 2010 hosting of the World Winter Masters Games, ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and FIS Ski Flying World Championships all no longer register.
Past & Future Global Sports Nation:
The United Kingdom has taken the title of Past Sports Nation, moving up four places and surpassing USA (2nd), Canada (3rd) and Russia (4th).
Brazil (5th) is the standout Past Global Sports Nation having hosted two mega events in the form of the Fifa World Cup 2014 and Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016 but has secured few events since. Brazil will continue to fall down the index in years to come unless future major events are secured.
USA remain in second position whilst China (3rd) climbs five positions, ahead of the United Kingdom (4th) and Russia (5th).
Denmark (6th) climbs 11 places, more than any other, following the awards of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2019, 2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships and Women's World Handball Championships 2023 which will be hosted across Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Qatar (7th), Switzerland (8th) and Italy (9th) all rise whilst Germany (10th) falls six places.
Sportcal’s Global Sports Nations Index can be viewed in full here.