Football is Sudan's most popular sport. Even in the most distant desert communities, youngsters assemble for a game. Sudan won the African Cup of Nations in 1970, but has struggled in following years. Basketball is also widely played.
Sudan is known for its unique style of football called "Taharrush al-Sham" which means "the clash of swords". The game consists of two halves with a half-time break. Each team has a flag which they use to score goals by running with it into the other team's area or by kicking it into the other team's goal. There are several variations on how many players are used on each team and where they position themselves on the field but this is the general idea of soccer in Sudan.
The national team has never done well at any type of international competition and hasn't qualified for any major events since 1990. However, several famous Sudanese players have represented other countries at different levels including Egypt, Palestine, and Iraq. These men are known as the "Mamlakat" (meaning "nationals") because they were born in another country but represent Sudan in international competitions.
There are several reasons why football is so popular in Sudan. It is inexpensive to play, there are clubs in every small town, and training is only required one day per week.
Sudanese art represents the country's centuries-long history. Sudanese art has been influenced by the different dynasties that controlled the nation as well as the country's diverse ethnic groupings. Sudan's Bambara people are famed for their intricately carved antelope headdresses, which have great cultural value.
Track and field, football (soccer), volleyball, handball, and basketball are the most popular sports in Sudan. Sudan has a rich African history. Sudan is one of the four founder members of the National African Cup, which began in 1957. Since Sudan's independence from Great Britain, and following the Sudanese civil war,...
Sudan's football squad is known as Sokoor Al-Jediane, which translates to "Desert Hawks." Sudan competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1960. Sudan was one of four African nations that comprised African football (the others being Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa). In 1956, Sudan hosted the inaugural African Cup of Nations.
Northern Sudan has a heritage of lyrical music with oblique metaphors, which has traditionally been employed in the Sudanese independence movement and other political activities.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Mali, which gained popularity when the country hosted the 2002 African Cup of Nations. The most popular teams in the country are Djoliba AC, Stade Malien, and Real Bamako, all of which are headquartered in the city. Other notable clubs include Gorée FC, which is based in Dakar, Senegal; and ASC Jeanne d'Arc, which is based in Niamey, Niger.
Basketball is also widely played in Mali. The most famous team is BC Mali Boguila, which plays in the Basketball Africa League (BLGA). In 2014, it won the African Champions Cup. Football and basketball have yet to be introduced into the Olympic program. However, Mali has announced its intention to participate in both sports at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Mali has a long history with tennis. It was one of the original six members of the Federation of Tennis, which later became known as the International Tennis Federation (ITF). However, financial difficulties caused by the isolation of Mali from the world market led to the suspension of its membership in 1972. Since then, no efforts have been made by the government or private organizations to promote tennis in the country. As a result, there are only an estimated 300 registered players in Mali, with most competing in local events because there are no professional tennis leagues or tournaments held on national level.