On the Go with Nigeria’s Favourite Sports and Games

February 17, 2022
Nigeria's Favourite Sports

Sport is hugely popular across Africa, and none more so than in Nigeria. Football is the most popular sport, as it is in the rest of the world, and Nigeria has produced many elite-level footballers and performed well at the FIFA World Cup.

But there are plenty of other sports that Nigerians love to play and watch, and with such a large and diverse population it’s no surprise. And like many other regions sports betting – a great way to add some more excitement into sport – is getting big in the country, with many options available such as the sports betting portal Betfromafrica.com. Let’s take a closer look at sports betting in Nigeria.

Sports betting in Nigeria

Online sports betting is soaring in popularity in Africa, and Nigeria is one of the biggest markets for mobile gambling. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Lagos State Lottery Board were established to regulate online gambling (as well as sports betting, Nigerians enjoy the online casino experience) so the estimated 60 million people betting on sports can do so securely and safely. There are more than 40 betting sites within Nigeria offering odds on all kinds of sporting events, and as with bookmakers everywhere, there is a range of bets and types of bets to place with the most favourable conditions.

Popular sports in Nigeria

With a population that numbers over 211 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, home to numerous ethnic groups with distinct cultures, so it’s inevitable that a wide variety of sports and pursuits are popular. Here are four examples of sports Nigerians are passionate about.


Far and away the biggest sport in the country is football. Nigeria has its own Premier League, and many players have played in the big leagues of Europe. While the domestic league is very popular, many Nigerians enjoy watching and betting on the English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A, amongst other major competitions and events.

Nigeria’s national football team, known as the “Super Eagles”, has made the World Cup on six occasions 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, and 2018. The team won gold at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Football is also played widely at an amateur level.


Another popular sport is basketball. Again, the country has its own league – the NFP – It is contested by sixteen times divided into two conferences (Savannah and Atlantic). As with football, the NFP is popular but many fans and bettors enjoy NBA action and can place a wide range of bets at various odds to win some cash with wagers on the league.

Placing bets in Nigeria is easier and more fun than ever – many sites offer a welcome bonus for players and further promotions for making a deposit. Bet365 even have their own app which makes placing bets on the go even easier – you can also keep tabs on your potential winnings as well as special offers.


Dambe is a martial art of the Hausa people, the largest ethnic group in Nigeria. Competitors in a typical match aim to subdue each other into total submission mostly within three rounds. The sport has become popular thanks to exposure on YouTube and efforts by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and is noted for its tough and brutal action.

Efforts to further popularise the sport were hampered by the recent pandemic, but it is still becoming a draw for spectators and bettors – many African bookmakers list the sport as an option.


Track and field events are popular in Nigeria, and most schools offer training in many of these sports. The Olympics has given Nigerians some of the most exciting sporting moments, with Chioma Ajunwa taking gold in the long jump in Atlanta in 1996, and the men’s 4×400 meter relay team snatching gold in Sydney in 2000.

Although they were pipped to second by the Americans, the USA team was later disqualified moving Nigeria on to the top step of the podium. Many betting sites allow players to wager on athletic events, and some offer bonuses and promotions for their customers.

Sports betting in Nigeria has become a passion almost as big as the sport itself. And it’s no surprise, thanks to continually advancing tech with so many safe, secure and convenient places to play, Nigerian sports fans can rejoice.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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