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Ever wondered about the heartbeat of Libya?

It’s not just in its rich history and stunning landscapes!

When it comes to sports in Libya, soccer dominates the scene.

But what else sparks Libyan passion?

Discover the most popular sports in Libya in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Libya:

  1. Soccer
  2. Basketball
  3. Volleyball
  4. Athletics
  5. Table Tennis
  6. Swimming
  7. Boxing
  8. Taekwondo
  9. Karate
  10. Judo
  11. Handball

#1 Soccer

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1918
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Libya: Tariq El Taib (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Libya: 140,000

Soccer holds the position of the most cherished sport in Libya and is deeply ingrained in the nation’s culture. The country’s enthusiasm for soccer is evident by its passionate following, with local fans dedicatedly supporting their teams.

The Libyan Premier League is the top-level domestic soccer league, showcasing the finest talent from across the nation. Tariq El Taib, a gifted Libyan midfielder, has been widely praised for his prowess on the field.

The Libyan national team’s victory in the 2014 African Nations Championship remains an unforgettable milestone for the country’s soccer history. As such, soccer’s prominence in Libya’s sporting landscape remains unrivaled.

#2 Basketball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1960s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Libya: Salah Mejri (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Libya: 20,000

Basketball has grown into a popular sporting choice in Libya, with an ever-increasing fan base. Enthusiasts passionately follow the sport, leading to a thriving domestic league.

The Libyan Basketball Federation organizes the annual Libyan Basketball Championship. This league is the hallmark of basketball in the country, drawing widespread interest and participation. Salah Mejri, Libya’s basketball pride, has made a mark in international basketball as the first Libyan to play in the NBA.

Basketball’s prominence in Libya as both a spectator sport and a platform for local talent continues to rise, creating a vibrant basketball scene within the nation.

#3 Volleyball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1950s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Libya: Ashraf Al Salhani (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Libya: 15,000

Volleyball holds a significant place in Libya’s sporting landscape. The dynamic nature of the game, team camaraderie and tactical aspects, has led to a continually growing fan base.

The Libyan Volleyball Federation oversees the country’s top-tier volleyball league, where teams compete for the prestigious national title. Libyan volleyball star Ashraf Al Salhani has been celebrated for his talent and contributions to the sport.

Volleyball’s presence in Libya has expanded both domestically and internationally, with more local teams participating in various regional tournaments. Volleyball’s place in the hearts of Libyan fans remains steadfast.

#4 Athletics

Track and Field
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: Ancient Times
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Libya: Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Libya: 5,000

Athletics has a long-standing tradition in Libya and continues to be a revered sport. The country has produced talented athletes who have represented Libya in international competitions.

Track and field events draw widespread attention, and the Libyan Athletics Federation conducts various national and regional competitions to showcase the nation’s talent. Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi, a prominent Libyan long-distance runner, has made a name for himself in international marathons and championships.

As a foundational sport, athletics has a deep connection with Libyan culture and history. The nation continues to nurture this relationship by supporting and encouraging the growth of further athletic talent.

#5 Table Tennis

Table Tennis
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1960s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Libya: Adel Massaoud (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Libya: 10,000

Table tennis, a sport known for its agility, quick reflexes, and strategy, enjoys recognition and popularity in Libya. It attracts a dedicated following from all ages who appreciate the skill and competitiveness required in the game.

The Libyan Table Tennis Federation facilitates the growth and development of the sport by organizing regional and national tournaments. Adel Massaoud, an eminent Libyan table tennis player, has made a significant impact on the sport’s development in the country.

In Libya, table tennis continues to thrive both recreationally and competitively, fostering a lively sporting atmosphere that encourages talent growth and excellence.

#6 Swimming

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Libya: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Swimmer from Libya: Sofyan El Gadi (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimmers in Libya: 7,000

Swimming in Libya is both a popular recreational activity and competitive sport. With its pristine Mediterranean coastline, the country’s natural affinity for swimming has led to an emerging talent pool.

The Libyan swimming team has participated in various regional and international competitions, showcasing their athletic prowess. Sofyan El Gadi, a Libyan swimming sensation, has represented Libya in multiple Olympic Games.

Swimming clubs and associations across the nation not only provide a platform for emerging talent but also help foster a strong culture of swimming among Libyans, promoting physical fitness and aquatic sports.

#7 Boxing

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Boxer from Libya: Malik Zinad (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Boxing Enthusiasts in Libya: 5,000

Boxing has had a modest yet devout following in Libya as a competitive sport that demands discipline, strength, and mental fortitude. The country has produced talented boxers who have represented Libya on the international stage.

Libyan boxer Malik Zinad, known for his impressive bouts and unique fighting style, is a shining example of Libya’s participation in the boxing scene.

Despite the challenges faced, the sport continues to gain traction, with dedicated gyms and trainers working diligently to nurture local talent and introduce the next generation of Libyan boxers to the world of boxing.

#8 Taekwondo

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Libya: Ezedin Salem (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Taekwondo Practitioners in Libya: 4,000

Taekwondo has flourished as a prominent martial art form in Libya, offering both self-defense education and competitive opportunities for its practitioners. The sport delivers mental and physical challenges while fostering discipline and respect for tradition.

The Libyan Taekwondo Federation works tirelessly to promote the sport, organizing national championships and sending athletes to international tournaments. Ezedin Salem, a spectacular Libyan taekwondo talent, has participated in global competitions, showcasing the nation’s martial arts prowess.

With steadfast dedication from its community, taekwondo in Libya will continue to grow, attracting new practitioners and enriching the nation’s sporting culture with its unique blend of martial art and athletic discipline.

#9 Karate

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1970s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Libya: Mohamed Al Alem (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Karate Practitioners in Libya: 3,000

Karate has gained popularity in Libya as both a competitive and recreational martial art, empowering its practitioners with a sense of discipline, self-defense, and individual growth.

The Libyan Karate Federation promotes the sport nationally, organizing local and regional events, and training athletes for international tournaments. Mohamed Al Alem, a prominent Libyan karateka, has represented Libya in various global competitions, earning accolades and appreciation.

Karate cultivates a holistic approach to physical and mental well-being in Libya, carving out a unique space in the country’s sporting landscape and continuing to attract new enthusiasts.

#10 Judo

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1960s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Libya: Emad Ben Khalifa (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Judo Practitioners in Libya: 2,000

Judo, the Japanese martial art form, has established a devoted following in Libya. The sport emphasizes qualities such as balance, technique, and mental resilience, making it an ideal choice for self-development and competitive pursuits.

The Libyan Judo Federation has played a significant role in nurturing local talent and organizing national championships. Libyan judoka Emad Ben Khalifa has made a mark in the international arena, showcasing the country’s commitment and potential in the sport.

Judo in Libya helps foster a strong sense of camaraderie, sportsmanship, and self-improvement, ensuring a lasting impact on the nation’s sporting culture.

#11 Handball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Libya: 1970s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Libya: Basheer Khalid (Libyan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Libya: 5,000

Handball has grown in popularity in Libya, offering both a thrilling spectacle and an engaging team sport for its participants. Quick reflexes, tactical planning, and team cohesion make handball an increasingly attractive sporting choice.

The Libyan Handball Federation oversees the development of the sport, conducting local tournaments and providing support to the national team. Libyan handball star Basheer Khalid has been instrumental in raising the profile of the sport in the country.

Libyan handball teams have participated in regional competitions, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to the sport’s growth. The camaraderie and excitement handball brings to Libya’s sporting culture continue to nurture its increasing prominence.


What is the most popular sport in Libya?

Soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in Libya, with a strong cultural connection and a devoted following. Soccer is supported by a significant portion of the population.

What is the national sport of Libya?

The national sport of Libya is soccer (football), which plays a vital role in the country’s cultural and sporting traditions, capturing the hearts and minds of people across the nation.

What are the most watched sports in Libya?

The most watched sports in Libya are soccer (football), followed by basketball, volleyball, athletics, table tennis, swimming, boxing, taekwondo, karate, judo, and handball, each possessing notable viewership and fan bases throughout the country.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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