What are the Most Popular Sports in the World?


For as long as humans have been around, we have been inventing games and sports to keep ourselves fit and entertained. Combat sports date back to the prehistoric era, and sports similar to football have been played since Ancient times. This isn’t even mentioning the various sports like running, jumping, discus, javelin-throwing, etc. which date back to the Ancient era, and were played in the original Olympics. But just what are the most popular sports around the world today? In this article, we will take a look at a few sports which are at the top of the world in terms of popularity.


The first, and uncontested, most popular sport, with over four billion fans worldwide, is Association Football, or Soccer as it is called in the United States. As we said, games similar to soccer have been played since the earliest civilizations, however, the game as we know it today came about in the Victorian era. Since its inception, football has won over the hearts, souls, and minds of people across the world, and is today, the biggest sport in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and South America, by far. Football is also the most popular betting sport, with betting shops and the online betting sites ranked by betstation.com seeing a massive increase in traffic during football season in all of the major continents, including North America.

With a fan base exceeding four billion, football has almost double the fans of the second-biggest sport, and more fans than the third and fourth biggest sports put together. It truly is the uncontested king of the sports world.


With approximately 2.5 billion fans the world over, it might surprise some to know that cricket is following the trails of football as the second most popular sport in the world. Originating in England, cricket is, in fact, the national sport of the United Kingdom .

The origins of cricket can be traced back to the middle ages, where the game was invented by children playing with sticks and a ball, and has since then grown into one of the biggest sports, and a sort of progenitor to baseball.

During the Colonial Agecricket was spread from England to various parts of the world, especially the Indian subcontinent, where it is still the most popular sport today. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh dominate the cricket world and comprise a large portion of cricket’s fandom.


Hockey as a term generally refers to ice hockey in the States and Canada, and field hockey in the rest of the world. Either way, the combined fans of ice and field hockey, around the world, amounts to around 2 billion people. In Canada , Ice Hockey is the uncontested most popular sport, and in the United States the National Hockey League is a member of the four major league sports organizations.

The six countries that dominate the world of hockey, often referred to as the Big Six of Hockey, are Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, Canada, and the United States of America.

Honorable Mentions

Apart from these three, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and ping pong (or table tennis) also have millions of followers worldwide, except for tennis, which has approximately 1 billion fans in the world.


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