For as long as human history has been around, people have been participating in sports of some kind or another. For example, the history of wrestling, often dated to the Ancient world, might go further back than many believe, all the way to the prehistoric days, when the first humans began to form primitive communities. Cave paintings have been discovered, which archeologist believe seem to depict the practice of wrestling. And while it is difficult to say that, at the time, wrestling was an organized sporting event, it shows that the spirit of competition has always burned within the human heart.
Since then, sports have come a long way. Today, we have organized sports, played on a regional, national, and international level. Needless to say the sports fandom is greater than ever. This applies to fans from all over the world, including, of course Asia. The Asian continent is home to some of the biggest and most passionate sports fans in the world. But what are the sports that capture the hearts of most Asian people and countries? In this article, we are looking at the sports that are most popular in Asia.
It will come as no surprise to anyone when we say that, yes, football is the most popular sport on the Asian continent. As a viewed sport, it absolutely dominates the Middle East. Countries like Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, Qatar, etc. are all huge football fans, and it is the number one sport amongst residents of said countries. However, even in countries where football isn’t the most viewed sport in Asia, it is still among the most popular sports. For example, in India, where cricket is the uncontested champion, football is still a close second. Not just that, but when looking at Asian betting sites like, asiabet8888.com, we can see that football is among the most popular betting sports on the Asian continent, if not the most popular.
The popularity of football in Asia is no surprise to anyone who keeps up with sports. Football is the biggest sport in the world, boasting over 3 billion fans globally. 2022 is an exciting year for Asian football fans, as the FIFA World Cup will be held in Asia for the second time in its history, and it will be the first time that it is hosted by a Middle Eastern country, Qatar.
Again, might seem unsurprising to some, as cricket is another of the most popular sports worldwide, with 2.5 billion fans globally. Most of the popularity of cricket, however, comes from Asian fans, specifically, South Asian fans. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have been dedicated cricket fans for over a hundred years now, and in the late 20th and 21st century, it is these countries that have boasted some of the greatest cricketers in the world.
In today’s international cricket scene, it is the Indian team that shines above the rest, and India has produced some truly spectacular players, most notable of which is Sachin Tendulkar, who has the record for most runs in ODI.
The last sport we’ll be taking a look at is basketball. Hugely popular in China, basketball is neck-in-neck with soccer for the country’s favorite sport, and it is unclear which one comes out ahead. However, it isn’t just Chinese people that love basketball. The sport is also huge in Japan, Taiwan, Iran, the Philippines and South Korea, who are also the major competitors at the FIBA Asia tournaments, organized by the International Basketball Federation. The FIBA Asia Championship Cup is the biggest basketball event in Asia, and has, for the most part, been dominated by the Chinese national basketball team.