Association football (also known as soccer) is the most popular sport in almost all African countries, and in 2010 South Africa became the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup.
Some African nations, like Kenya and Ethiopia, are very dominant at long distance running, whilst north African countries such Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia are dominant in handball, and countries such as Zimbabwe. Rugby and golf are reasonably popular in a few African countries, though rugby is very popular in South Africa.
The Nigerian Hakeem Olajuwon (2x times NBA Champion with Houston Rockets) is one of the best foreign players in the NBA's history and considered fundamental in developing and popularizing Basketball in Africa.
Cricket is a popular summer sport in the United Kingdom and has been exported to other parts of the former British Empire. Cricket has its origins in south east Britain. It is popular throughout England and Wales, and parts of the Netherlands, and in other world areas, especially in southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Indian subcontinent. It is played to test cricket level in South Africa and Zimbabwe, with notable results in Kenya and Namibia.
Association football (also known as soccer) is the most popular sport in almost all African countries. African club teams compete in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup. African national teams compete in the Africa Cup of Nations and also in the African Nations Championship for local teams.
Rugby union is very popular in South Africa (3x times World Champions in 1995, 2007 & 2019) and other countries have notable results such as Morocco, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. The major competition in the continent is the Africa Cup that contains the teams in the first level of African rugby, and African Development Trophy contains the teams in the second level. Only the South Africa rugby team compete in the intercontinental tournament, The Rugby Championship.
Athletics is one of the major single competitions in Africa. The discipline has been part of the African Games since 1965. The African Athletics Championships has been held biannually since 1979. The African Cross Country Championships was first held in 1985 and later since 2011. The African Mountain Running Championships has been held since 2009.
In addition, several editions of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships have been held in Africa. The Meeting International Mohammed VI d'Athlétisme de Rabat has been held at Morocco since 2008 as part of the IAAF World Challenge and the IAAF Diamond League. Previously, the Meeting Grand Prix IAAF de Dakar was part of the IAAF Grand Prix and IAAF World Challenge. The Cape Town Marathon became an IAAF Silver Label event in 2014 and an IAAF Gold Label event in 2017.
The UCI Africa Tour road cycling competition has been held since 2005.
Golf is a minority sport in Africa. The Sunshine Tour is based in South Africa but also visits other neighbour countries. Several tournaments have been co-sanctioned by the European Tour, such as the South African Open, South African PGA Championship, Alfred Dunhill Championship, Nedbank Golf Challenge, Africa Open, Joburg Open, Tshwane Open,
Notable African golfers include Bobby Locke, winner of The British Open four times in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1957; Gary Player, winner of the British Open in 1959, 1968 and 1974, The Masters in 1961, 1974 and 1978, the PGA Championship in 1962 and 1972 and the U.S Open in 1965; Ernie Els, winner of the 1994, 1997 U.S. Open and 2002 British Open; Nick Price, winner of the 1992 and 1994 PGA Championship and 1994 British Open; Retief Goosen; Trevor Immelman; Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
Motorsport is popular in South Africa. The country has hosted several international races, such as the South African Grand Prix (Formula One) , South African motorcycle Grand Prix (Grand Prix motorcycle racing), etc. The Moroccan Grand Prix was the first Grand Prix from Africa to host the Formula 1 in 1958.
Louis Phal was the first African world boxing champion. It would another 4 decades for another boxing world champion in the form of Richard Ihetu. Meanwhile, there was little administrative framework for professional boxing in Africa until 1973, when representatives of nine African nations created the African Boxing Union. On October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought for a heavyweight title in Zaire which became known as Rumble in the Jungle.
Mixed martial arts
EFC Africa 01 took place at The Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg on 12 November 2009 and is now viewed in 110 countries, including USA, Canada, The Caribbean and all over Europe. EFC Africa 19, which was held at Carnival City in Johannesburg on 19 April 2013, topped other African sports ratings with a record of over 1.8 million views with 31.3% of the total South African TV audience (SABC, e.tv and DStv combined). These are the biggest ratings in EFC history, topping EFC Africa 12's record of 1.6 million views and 25.9% audience share.
South Africa has hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2003 Cricket World Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup. Africa has hosted six editions of the Pan Arab Games and five editions of the Mediterranean Games. Durban, South Africa was announced as host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in 2015, but they were denied as hosts in 2017.
- Africa Military Games
- African Sports Confederation of Disabled
- African Youth Games
- Association of African Sports Confederations
- Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa
- List of African Olympic medalists
- Sport in Asia
- Sport in Europe
- Sport in Oceania
- Sport in South America
- Sports in North America
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