Sports in Asia

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Association football (also known as Soccer) is the most popular sport in almost every Asian Country.[1] Other popular sports in Asia include cricket, baseball, basketball, badminton and table tennis among others.

Association football[edit]

The Asian Football Confederation was founded in 1954. They organize several tournaments for national teams, most notably the AFC Asian Cup since 1956 and AFC Women's Asian Cup since 1975, as well as qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup and the Summer Olympics. The AFC Champions League is Asia's premier tournament for clubs, first held in 1967.

The AFC members are split into five regional federations: West, Central, South, East and South East. These federations organize regional football championships.

The most successful Asian countries in international men's competitions have been Japan and South Korea in East, and Saudi Arabia and Iran in the West. In women's football, East Asian have been dominant, especially Japan, China and North Korea. Asia has been more successful win women's football than in men's football.

The 2002 FIFA World Cup was hosted jointly by Japan and South Korea. It was the first edition not held in Europe ot Latin America. The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar, but it was announced that it could be cancelled for bribery during the bidding process.

The People's Republic of China hosted the first edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991, as well as the 2007 edition.


Cricket is a popular sport in Asia. Four countries have Test status: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

At the Cricket World Cup, India has won two editions, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka have each won once. At the ICC World Twenty20, three three countries have won once. Bangladesh is the weakest of the four teams, having won 7 out of 91 Test matches and 95 out of 309 One Day International matches.

The Asian Cricket Council is a cricket organization which was established in 1983, to promote and develop the sport of cricket in Asia. Membership in the Asian Cricket Council is divided between four Test Status members, seven associate members and eleven affiliate members. Four Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and South Korea, are members of ICC East Asia-Pacific instead of the Asian Cricket Council, although Indonesia has applied for membership in the Asian Cricket Council.

The Asia Cup is the continental One Day International and Twenty20 International cricket tournament. The Indian Premier League a Twenty20 cricket tournament for franchise teams held since 2008.

The India–Pakistan cricket rivalry attracts up to one billion viewers.

Rugby union[edit]

Main article: Rugby union in Asia

Rugby in Asia is currently dominated by Japan. The Japanese national team are so far the only Asian team to have competed in the Rugby World Cup, having appeared in all seven tournaments so far. Japan has hosted the Japan Sevens and will be hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


Asia has hosted a total of 5 Olympic Games. Three Summer Olympic Games: 1964 in Tokyo, 1988 in Seoul and 2008 in Beijing, and two Winter Olympic Games: 1972 in Sapporo and 1998 in Nagano. The International Olympic Committee has selected 3 cities from Asia to host future Olympic Games: 2018 in Pyeongchang, 2020 in Tokyo and 2022 in Beijing. Beijing will be the first city to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games.[2]

The Asian Games, also called the Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Asian Games are the world's second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.[3][4] There is also a winter edition of Asian Games, which was first held in 1986.

Israel has been banned from the Asian Games since 1978, with the AGF citing security reasons. However, Israeli sports officials contend that it was due to Arab and Chinese opposition to their participation. Samuel Lalkin, general security of the Israel Sports Federation, said "The excuse that we pose big security problems is completely ridiculous if you think that North Korea is competing. That's a worse problem, but they want to see us out. We can't take part because of what we are."[5] Due to the Arab–Israeli conflict, Israel sports federations have joined the European confederations.

New events[edit]

At the Bandy World Championship 2012[6] in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Federation of International Bandy established an office for Asia and plan to organise the first Asian Bandy Championship in December 2012.[7] FIB President Boris Skrynnik believes in a good development in the region, including the construction of indoor rinks.[1]

See also[edit]