Sport occupies an important place in African societies. Ancestral disciplines or new emerging sports, we sift through the most popular sports in Africa. We explain to you the importance of the role of African athletes as ambassadors of the continent’s colors internationally.
Popular Sports in Africa
Football is unbeatable. Football is by far the most popular sport in Africa. Across the continent, Africans are passionate about football. The supporters are numerous, but not only is the continent a great supplier of very great international players.
Athletics is popular in a few African countries, such as Ethiopia and Kenya. Both countries have a long tradition of excellence in athletics, with many famous runners. In South Africa, rugby is very popular. The South African national team, the Springboks, have won the Rugby World Cup twice.
West Africa has a long tradition of inter-village wrestling competitions. In pre-colonial Africa, wrestlers held a superior position in society. In certain regions of Senegal, Sudan and Egypt, wrestling is still very popular and the winners are elevated to the rank of celebrities.
Sport is a source of national pride for many African countries, and sporting successes are celebrated with enthusiasm. African athletes are considered ambassadors of their country and their continent. Their performances in international competitions are considered a representation of African excellence worldwide.
This is also why unrestricted non GamStop sports wagering in Africa has become so popular: the desire to support athletes, teams, while earning money!
African Performances in Popular Sports
In football, many great players come from the African continent. This is the case, among others, of Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, George Weah and Yaya Touré who each left their mark on the history of football. Collectively, Morocco is rising to the top with a national team capable of reaching the semi-final of the football world championship in Qatar. Senegal, DRC, Ghana, Cameroon and Tunisia scored good results during international meetings.
In athletics, the podium is often occupied by Ethiopians for endurance races. Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba are Ethiopian long-distance runners famous for their multiple Olympic titles. In short races too, the Africans are talking about them. In 1908, South African sprinter Reggie Walker became the first African to win an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter race. Even today, several African athletes hold records, such as Kenyan David Rudisha, world record holder in the 800 meters.
Wrestling on the African continent is a local, even national, practice in certain countries such as Senegal. The sport is very popular in rural and urban settings, and winners are celebrated and respected. Wrestling matches are real celebrations that attract crowds. Matches are often accompanied by singing and music.
Emerging Sports Where Africans Excel
Although wrestling is a tradition of more than 3000 years on the African continent, the sport still attracts little international audience. Traditionally in villages, wrestling is now moving into urban areas with more and more young people from cities practicing this sport. Wrestlers therefore have a very promising future in Africa and perhaps even internationally.
With the influence of the United States, basketball has become an increasingly popular sport. Urban clubs and basketball courts are multiplying all over the continent. Many schools also have their own basketball court, promoting this sport from America. Basketball is gaining influence in Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.