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The Most Popular Sports in Egypt

The Most Popular Sports in Egypt

The 6 Most Popular Sports in Egypt

Egypt is home to ancient wonders, seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Valley of Kings, friendly people, delectable gastronomy and one-of-a-kind culture.

But Egypt is also a proud sporting nation, but which sports are most popular amongst Egyptians.

The iconic footballer Mo Salah

Yes, it’s true!

Egypt has produced some of the most talented athletes and sportspeople in North Africa, and it has a history of success in several international competitions.

Egypt has won the African Cup of Nations seven times. The country has also hosted numerous international events, including the World Men's Handball Championship and the African Cup of Nations.

50% of people in Egypt enjoy watching sports on television and online streaming services.

Around 40% of Egyptians also love attending sporting events as spectators.

In this article, read about the most popular sports in Egypt, including key players and important moments in Egyptian sporting history.

1. Football

Football is the most popular sport in Egypt.

Egyptians play football everywhere, from the bustling streets of Cairo to the country's remote villages. People of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds play football, as they do all over the world.

In addition, Egypt's national football team, also known as the Pharaohs, has millions of fans throughout the country.

Likewise, the domestic league, or Egyptian Premier League, is highly competitive. Teams such as Zamalek and Al Ahly have a substantial fan base.

These two clubs have millions of fans. Al Ahly has 25 million fans, while Zamalek has 10 million fans.

Egypt was the first African country to participate in the World Cup, in 1934. The national football team also won the African Cup of Nations three times in a row in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

This shows the passion and enthusiasm of Egyptians towards football.

Moreover, the Egyptian Premier League has 18 teams. The Egyptian Football Association (established in 1948) organises the league, and the seasons usually run from August to May.

Football player Mohamed Salah had a transformative effect on Egyptian football.

Salah's success in Europe with clubs such as Roma, Chelsea and Liverpool has raised the profile of Egyptian football on the international stage.

Ramadan Sobhi is known as the most valuable player in the Egyptian Premier League, with a market value of three million euros.

Other incredible Incredible Egyptian football players include Ferjani Sassi and Mohamed El Shenawy.

2. Basketball

Although basketball is not as popular as football in Egypt, it has millions of fans throughout the country.

The national team's success is one of the primary reasons behind basketball’s popularity in Egypt, winning the African Championship (now called AfroBasket) several times.

Egypt has won 17 medals at the African Championship, making it the second most successful country in basketball after Angola.

Egypt has also hosted the AfroBasket six times and won four gold medals in these tournaments.

The country has more than 200 basketball clubs with over 30,000 registered players.

The Egyptian Basketball Federation governs and organises domestic, national and international basketball competitions.

3. Squash

British officers introduced squash to Egypt during the colonial era.

However, the Egyptian elite quickly adopted squash, and it soon became a popular sport among all classes of society. Today, young individuals play squash in schools, clubs and even on the streets of Egypt.

In addition, the country has produced talented squash players, including Amr Shabana, Ramy Ashour and Nour El Sherbini.

These professional squash players have won several championships. For instance, Amr Shabana won the World Open four times in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. 

Egypt has 400 squash courts and over 10,000 players. In fact, four of the top five men’s squash players are from Egypt, and the top three women’s squash players are also Egyptians.

Another reason Egyptians have achieved success in squash is their exposure to the game from a young age.

Egyptian squash enthusiasts play five times more matches than players in other countries. This streamlines the squash landscape and attracts versatile talent.

Similarly, the Egyptian Squash Association supports young players in accessing quality facilities and polishing their skills.

Egyptians have a unique playing style, making them stand out from their opponents.

Professional squash players use different techniques to achieve changes in body position and grip to confuse and deceive their opponents.

Moreover, they also have exceptional footwork, allowing them to move quickly and efficiently around the court.

Squash: One of Egypts most popular games

4. Handball

Handball is another popular sport in Egypt, and many young individuals in schools and colleges play this game as an extracurricular activity.

Handball has a strong and passionate following among the young Egyptian population at amateur and professional levels.

The Egyptian Handball League is the most popular professional league, founded in 1958. Although it has 18 teams, the most popular and successful ones are Al Ahly SC, Zamalek SC, Smouha SC and Gezira SC.

The Egyptian Handball Federation (EHF) has played a critical role in promoting the sport nationwide.

The International Handball Federation recognised the EHF in 1960. The EHF joined the African Handball Confederation in 1973.

According to the International Handball Federation (IHF), Egypt was the first non-European handball team to reach the World Championships semifinals.

Similarly, it is the first African country to reach the Olympics semifinals.

5. Tennis

Tennis is famous in Egypt, particularly among the middle and upper classes.

It has a solid following among men and women playing the game at amateur and professional levels.

The Egyptian Tennis Federation (ETF) is an organisation established in 1920 that organises tournaments at domestic and national levels.

In addition, the country has produced several notable tennis players over the years, including Ismail El Shafei, Tamer El Sawy and Mohamed Safwat.

The sport is also popular among tourists, with many resorts offering tennis facilities and equipment for guests to play this game.

Moreover, many tennis courts and facilities are located throughout Egypt, making it easy for people to play and enjoy the sport.

Mohamed Safwat was the first Egyptian to play in the Grand Slam. Egypt also occupies a spot in the top ten tennis nations worldwide.

Egyptian tennis players have succeeded in international competitions, helping inspire and motivate young players in the country.

Many tourists visit Egypt to play tennis as a recreational activity, increasing demand for tennis facilities.

6. Boxing 

Boxing has a long history in Egypt, with many legendary fighters and boxers achieving significant success in international competitions.

This includes winning multiple Olympic and World Championship medals.

The Egyptian national team dominated the 2018 Arab Junior boxing championship, winning five gold and four silver medals.

Moreover, the popularity of boxing in Egypt is due to accessible facilities and training programmes.

Many boxing gyms and training programmes are available throughout Egypt, making it easy for aspiring boxers to learn and practice the sport.

Over 2,000 Egyptian boxers practice fighting sports in 200 clubs and gyms.

These sports also include Muay Thai, allowing boxers to improve their strength and fighting skills.

What Sports do you associate with Egpyt?

Sports play a significant role in Egyptian society, culture and economy.

All of the sports listed in this article are a source of national pride and identity.

Many Egyptians are also passionate about supporting their favourite teams and athletes.

Sports bring people together! They create a sense of community, help to strengthen social bonds and promote well-being.

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