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A list of the world’s 5 most popular sports

Sports permeate through billions of lives whether it be playing, supporting or watching. Here we round up the world's 5 most popular sports.

World's 5 most popular sports

The world of sport has been around for millennia, from boxing to archery to even basic forms of football, and they still take up so much of our lives now. Herein, the list of the world’s 5 most popular sports.

The world’s 5 most popular sports:

It is difficult to determine the ranking of sports precisely but we will base our analysis on the sports with the highest number of fans around the world.

5. Volleyball – 900 million fans

Volleyball is an American sport that was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895. It is played throughout the world and is estimated to be followed by around 900 million people.

4. Tennis – 1 billion fans

This French sport is one of the most elegant games ever created and it is played all over the world. It has a huge fan base of around 1 billion people. It originates from Real Tennis, a sport played in Northern France in the 12th century.

3. Field Hockey – 2 billion fans

With 2 billion followers, hockey is considered as the world’s 3rd most popular sport. It can be traced back to England in the 1800s, but is now played all over Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

2. Cricket – 2.5 billion fans

Cricket is listed as the second most popular sports with a fan base of at least 2.5 billion people. This British sport is mainly popular in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries although it has gradually been taken up all over the world. It’s largest fan base is in India with over 1 billion followers.

1. Football (Soccer) – 4 billion fans

Football or soccer, is considered to be most popular sport in the world. It is estimated that 4 billion people (half of the world’s population) follow this sport. FIFA credits the origins of football to being invented in China, but the contemporary style of play started in England. According to FIFA, the version of the game most similar to that of today originated in 1863.

Table tennis with 875 million, basketball with 825 million, baseball with 500 million, rugby with 475 million and golf with 450 million fans round off the top 10.

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