Lists of National Sports of Different Countries is shown below
There shall be no prizes awarded for knowing the answer to what the most popular sport in Brazil is. Perhaps the only ambiguity that remains is to whether you refer to it as “football” or “soccer”. As a general rule, unless you happen to live in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and maybe South Africa, it is called football. For those other five countries, well, they have a football of their own, and so it is called soccer. Personally, I fall under the category that calls it soccer but in the interests of not being hunted and chastised by fellow English-speakers from Europe, from here on I will refer to it as soccer.
After all, it was the English that invented it, wasn’t it? Well, possibly the modern game but nobody really knows where football came from. What we do know, is that it spawned a myriad of other codes in its wake. Let’s presume that the English did invent the modern game. There’s an old cliché that England invented all these games which other nations then bettered. The Australians and West Indians took cricket and beat England at its own game. The New Zealanders and South Africans took rugby union and did the same. As for football; well, there’s many nations who can make that claim. None more valid the Brazilians.
It was commonly considered that the national sport of India is field hockey. This has been denied by the Indian government however, as they claim that their nation has no official national sport. One thing that cannot be denied, is the popularity of cricket in this massive nation. Whilst historically, they might not be technically the most successful on a global scale, they are certainly up near the top and for a lot of the billion-plus residents of India, cricket might be considered a second religion.
Games of cricket are played in India everywhere there is space. From a game of gully cricket wherever there is a stretch of dirt flat enough, to a stadium filled with enthusiastic fans packing the ground, it might be something of an understatement to suggest the Indians enjoy a game of cricket.
With the cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand coming up in just a few weeks, the Indians go in to it as the reigning champions, having won the last World Cup in 2011. During that tournament, the Indians co-hosted along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It was the second time they had won, having first lifted the trophy in 1983. They joined the West Indies on two World Cup titles with the Caribbean kings winning the first two trophies in 1975 and 1979. Only Australia has won more with four World Cup wins to the Aussies.
Papua New Guinea
This might seem an odd nation to include here but let me tell you why it is. Papua New Guinea has the distinction of being the only country in the world where rugby league is the national sport. Generally, anybody outside the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland, and probably New Zealand, might not be aware that there are two sports which being with “rugby”. When most people within the aforementioned areas say rugby, they are referring to rugby union. To refer to rugby league, they might just say “league”. There is a difference. Confused?
Anyway, the sport of rugby league is hugely popular amongst the residents of Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, the Kumuls, as their team is known, encounter many social issues within their country which conspire to work against their success within the rugby league world however, they are ranked fourth in the world. They are regarded highly within league circles for their natural ability, flamboyance and enthusiasm with which they play the game.
It is often suggested that for a country with a small population as Australia, it spread itself a little thin in the sporting world. There are a myriad of different sports played passionately within the country including cricket, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, surfing, swimming, field hockey, the list goes on seemingly indefinitely. Sport is a massive part of the Australian culture and the nation has enjoyed much success in various sports. It is somewhat ironic then that many of the country’s elite athletes, are seldom seen outside of Australia. This is due to Australian football, which is clearly the most popular sport within the nation.
Although American football has far more in common with rugby league and rugby union (rules-wise and structurally on-field) than it does Australian football, the two can be thought of in similar terms. What I mean is that with American football and Australian football respectively, there is no other place on the planet where these sports are played as competitively or as professionally. Hence, the players who excel at Australian rules at the elite level, don’t play outside of their country apart from a few representative matches against Irish Gaelic footballers in a hybrid game called International Rules. But this uses a round ball whereas Australian footballers are used to an elongated ball which is more like an American football. Interestingly, there have been a handful of Irish footballers who have grown up playing Gaelic who have switched sports and played professional Australian football.
Is this one as obvious as Brazil? It might not be quite as simple as it seems. Of course there are many different types of martial arts practiced, not only in Japan and the rest of Asia, but all over the world. And whilst the most popular sport in modern day Japan appears to be baseball, the sport which we tend to think of when we think Japan, is sumo.
Sumo is a full-contact wrestling sport in which a rikishi (wrestler) must try and force his opponent from a circular ring or touch the floor with any part of their body other than their feet.
Japan remains the only country where the sport is practise professionally, and is a big part of Japanese culture with many ancient traditions maintained within the sport. Interestingly, most professional sumo wrestlers must live communally within communities known as heya. In these places, the wrestlers are required to maintain standards which adhere to strict tradition. Every aspect of their lives revolves around the traditions including the way they dress to, of course, diet.