Africa has become a cradle for sports talent, covering multiple disciplines. Sports are widely respected throughout the continent because they bring people together regardless of their culture and social class.
What are the popular sports in Africa?
From north to south, east to west of Africa, soccer is undoubtedly Africa’s most popular and favorite sport. Soccer is an incredibly ingrained game among people with origins dating back to the 1800s when British, Portuguese, and French colonialists introduced the sport to Africa. Unlike other sports, soccer requires minimal resources, which is why it is popular in every part of Africa.
The founding of African soccer teams started more than 50 years ago. Since then, professional soccer teams and leagues have been increasing. Today there are many local, regional, and continental soccer leagues throughout Africa. In addition, many soccer teams in Africa receive sponsorship from the government and the private sector, which has increased the game’s popularity.
Today, more than 100 players from various African teams play in the First League in Europe, the United States, and South America. In addition, South Africa (2010) hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time on African soil.
The most established countries in soccer globally are South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tunisia, and Senegal. Essential personalities in African soccer are Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor, Yaya Toure, and many others. Interestingly, more than 80 percent of African players in the World Cup play for various European clubs.
In addition, the soccer industry contributes positively to the African economy. Africa now enjoys equal opportunities to host high-profile global sporting events that have brought international luster to Africa and automatically the development of platforms that allow Africans to place bets on any sport on sites such as SBO. These platforms are much more attractive than visiting the nearest betting shop (if there are any!), as they are much more convenient and offer better odds, free bets, and instant payouts. Also, betting online on these platforms is safer as they are international sites operating in many other parts of the world, not just Africa, where anyone can bet easily and quickly.
Rugby’s popularity has increased rapidly, especially in recent years when the sport has caught on in several African countries. Did you know that South Africa has over 600,000 registered rugby players?
Rugby’s popularity on the continent started in South Africa, which played a crucial role in ushering in South Africa’s post-apartheid era. Other African countries that have excelled in the sport include Kenya, Namibia, and Ghana.
In 1995, the South African national team, Springboks, won the Rugby World Cup at home, and Nelson Mandela, then president of South Africa, wore a number 6 jersey for Francois Pienaar, the famous white South African. Everybody in the country remembers this critical moment for South Africa’s racial reconciliation as the two embraced each other cooling racial tensions.
Basketball has become increasingly popular since its introduction in the 1960s and is played across the continent. Young African boys and girls love basketball, which is widely played in popular neighborhoods and dominates the school competition scene.
Also, when you travel to many African cities, you will see numerous young people dressed in Sweatshirts, Vests, and T-shirts with the names of famous NBA players.
The number of professional teams has recently increased, with many youth basketball clubs organized to improve basketball skills. Some countries where basketball is popular include Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya.
Famous Africans who have played on the international stage include former NBA stars Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo. Olajuwon, born in Nigeria, played for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. Mutombo, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has played 18 NBA seasons.
Nigeria leads the continent with 106.2 points according to NIKE FIBA World Men’s ranking statistics and ranks 16th globally. Tunisia is second in Africa and 21st globally, with 69.0 points. Other African countries on the list are Angola in 23rd position with 66.0 points, Ivory Coast in 40th position with 20.4 points, and Egypt in 41st position with 19.2 points.
Cycling has become increasingly popular in Africa.
For example, the various cycling routes in South Africa allow participants to explore different environments, such as tree-lined avenues and lush vineyards.
The city of Asmara is famous for its rich cycling community composed mainly of unique vintage bicycles. Neighboring Ethiopia is famous for women’s cycling with exceptional talent. Many countries that have started cycling are Algeria and Kenya.