Top 6 Most Popular Sports in Nigeria

Nigerian fans are known for obsessing over sports and supporting their teams. This country is home to sports teams and athletes from all across the continent.

The most popular sports, such as football, were introduced to the country by British conquerors, but others, such as Dambe, have existed for decades. Nigerians have also been known to place wagers on the Coca-Cola 600.

The following are some of Nigeria’s most popular sports:

1. Football

There are no disagreements on the most popular sport in Nigeria. Of course, the King of Sports, football, is the obvious pick. Nigeria’s men’s football team, the Super Eagles, is one of the country’s most valued treasures.

Despite the country’s various cultural distinctions, everyone in Nigeria is united in their devotion for the Eagles.

Nigeria’s football team, nicknamed as the “Super Eagles,” has been responsible for several of the country’s most notable athletic events. Two of Nigeria’s finest footballers, Jay-Jay Okocha and Kanu, helped the country win the 1996 Olympic soccer gold medal.

The Super Eagles competed in the World Cup in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, and 2018. As the most decorated team in the AFCON, they have won three championships, four silver, and eight bronze medals.

Nigerian football is dominated by the NPFL, one of Africa’s most prestigious championships.

2. Dambe

The Dambe martial technique is derived from the Hausa tribe, one of Africa’s most prevalent ethnic groups.

Over the internet, an increasing number of people are tuning in to these battles, which have historically been fought by Hausa butchers.

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The popularity of the sport is growing beyond Nigeria. Dembe Warriors, a YouTube channel, gets more than 60% of its views from countries other than the Philippines, Indonesia, and the US.

The country’s ambitions to organize a national league were hampered by the coronavirus epidemic.

3. Basketball

Nigeria’s national basketball team joined FIBA in 1964, and basketball has been popular in the country since the 1950s. The D’Tigers (men’s team) and the D’Tigress (women’s team) have had some success.

Hakeem Olajuwon became one of the most well-known players in the NBA during the 1990s.

The Nigerian Premier League is the highest level of men’s professional basketball in Nigeria (NPL). It has 16 teams and its inaugural champion was crowned in 1997.

The NBA’s top teams, such as the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, nevertheless have a large following in Nigeria.

Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, one of the best basketball players ever, is of Nigerian descent and played for the Houston Rockets.

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Basketball is a popular sport in Nigeria, and the country’s numerous courts make it easy for children to participate and improve their skills.

4. Track And Field

Nigeria has a long history of winning international athletics tournaments, with multiple Olympic medals in Track & Field.

From Chioma Ajunwa’s amazing Gold-Medal jump in 1996 to the Bronze-Medal triumph in the Women’s 4400 Meter Relay at the 1992 Barcelona Games, Nigerian athletics has had many memorable moments.

As a result, it is unsurprising that it is one of Nigeria’s most popular sports.

Nigerians are natural athletes who excel in a variety of sports. Unfortunately, they aren’t very excellent at discovering and nurturing emerging talent.

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Many aspiring athletes remain in Nigeria, eager to demonstrate their ability in front of a wide international audience.

5. Table Tennis

Table tennis is a common hobby among Nigerians from all walks of life. Ping pong tables can be found in a variety of settings across the country, from sporting facilities to social meeting spots.

You may always arrange the sport using easily available items if you don’t have access to a formal table.

The net is usually built from a wooden board, and the improvised tables are usually made from wooden benches. In some games, bathroom slippers are used instead of bats. These “tables” serve as gathering spots for young people participating in this sport from all across the country.

Segun Toriola, Aruna Quadri, and Funked Oshonaiki are just a few of Nigeria’s numerous professional international players.

6. Boxing

Nigeria has produced a long line of world-class professional boxers, including Dick Tiger, Hogan Bassey, Nojim Maiyegun, and Samuel Peter.

As a result, boxing’s popularity in the country has skyrocketed. Nigeria’s most successful Olympic sport has been boxing, with six medals won over the quadrennial competition.

Despite our current lack of skill in the sport, boxing is still a popular spectator sport. Nigerian fans follow boxing stars such as Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury.

Nigerian boxing aficionados are optimistic that the country will one day reclaim its former prominence.

Conclusion

Football (sometimes known as soccer) is the most popular sport in Nigeria. Nigeria has had great success in the sport. Nigeria has long been a major participant in international sporting events, most notably the FIFA World Cup, where the national team finished tenth.

Updated: May 17, 2022 — 9:15 am

The Author

Stephen Adoga

Stephen Adoga is a trained journalist, researcher, creative writer, content creator, video editor and freelancer. He studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media. His interest mostly lies in the print medium where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.

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