Sports in Ghana

Ghana boasts an expansive athletic tradition, and its most cherished sport is football. Following that in adoration are boxing and basketball, with the country passionately pursuing sports like track & field, table tennis, ice hockey, cricket, rugby union/league golfing and badminton as well.

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Football in Ghana

Football in Ghana is a much-loved pastime with a long and storied tradition. Though the exact origin of football in Ghana is not known, it predates the country’s independence and has been enjoyed by generations of Ghanaians. With its own unique style, culture and superstitions, football has been said to be an integral part of the country’s identity.

The sport first began to gain recognition in the 1920s and 30s when two major clubs were established in the coastal city of Accra — the Excelsior Football Club and The Invincible Eleven. This was followed by a period of rapid growth for football throughout Ghana with numerous other teams being founded including Kumasi Asante Kotoko Sports Club, one of the most successful clubs in Ghana’s modern history.

Today, football continues to be popular across all age groups in Ghana; from young children playing on street corners to adults enjoying weekend matchess at local sports pubs. Professional leagues have also grown immensely since their inception in 1956; now boasting several different divisions over which thousands compete each year for glory. This includes the highly lauded Premier League which features 16 premier division teams battling it out each season for the championship title.

Of course, like any other sport, professional players are idolized by fans – often becoming household names amongst sports fanatics. But this isn’t limited only to professionals; amateur players such as street footballers are also celebrated within their communities as they showcase their skills among friends and family members alike.

Ghanaian football is also well-known internationally with many impressive feats having been achieved over the years both domestically as well as on an international stage. This includes multiple African Cup of Nations wins (1982 & 2010), several U-20 FIFA World Cup titles (1991 & 1995) as well as a third place finish at the FIFA World Cup tournament back in 2010.

Boxing and basketball


In addition to football, other popular sports in Ghana include boxing and basketball. Both sports have grown rapidly in recent years, and they both have professional leagues that draw large crowds. Boxing has become particularly popular due to the success of many of its athletes at international events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Basketball also has a strong following in Ghana, with an increasing number of youth participating in local clubs as well as national teams competing internationally.

Boxing in particular has seen a surge in interest and support from the Ghanaian public; this is due largely to the impressive feats achieved by its athletes on the global stage. At the Olympics, Ohene Karikari won silver for Ghana in the lightweight division at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, while Clement Quartey also won silver for Ghana at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Additionally, many other boxers have earned medals at both Commonwealth and African Games in recent years.

In terms of professional boxing events, Ghana is home to some major organizations that host top-level fights for local audiences and globally broadcast matches. These include Sports 360 Promotions, which organizes several domestically renowned fight nights such as “Fight Night Africa”; as well as West African Boxing Union (WABU), which hosts an annual series of tournaments including the Ghana Open Championship.

Basketball too has experienced significant growth within Ghana over recent years, with increasing numbers of young people taking up interest in this dynamic sport. It boasts a dedicated national team – The Black Panthers – which has achieved much success on an international level; they placed first at the 2019 FIBA AfroBasket tournament and third at the 2020 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket tournament. On a club level there are several professional teams competing in domestic leagues such as Division I Basketball League (DIBL) and Greater Accra Basketball Association (GABA). Meanwhile grassroots initiatives like Street Ball held each year during Easter holidays bring together enthusiastic participants from all around Ghana for some serious 3-on-3 action.


Cricket has also become increasingly popular in Ghana over the years, with more people taking up the sport and watching it on television. With cricket now being part of the national curriculum in schools across the country, it has resulted in a surge of young players learning the game. This has been bolstered by initiatives such as Sports World International’s (SWI) popular Street Cricket program, which provides children with an opportunity to learn and develop their skills in this exciting sport.

At the professional level, there is currently one elite division for cricket in Ghana – the Ghana Premier League (GPL). The GPL features several teams competing for top honors each season, including Accra Hawks CC, Excalibur Titans CC, Takoradi Titans CC and Kumasi Warriors CC. These teams have a passionate fan base who regularly attend matches to support their favorite clubs.

Apart from international success with its national team, Ghana is also making great strides at developing cricket within its borders through various grassroots initiatives. One example is Cricket-4-Girls which was established by SWI to encourage young girls to take up cricket as a hobby or even choose a career path in sports. SWI also runs numerous coaching clinics throughout Ghana from which professional coaches can certify aspiring players and coaches alike – making sure everyone has access to quality training no matter where they live within Ghana’s borders.


Over the years, athletics has become an integral part of Ghanaian culture, with people from all walks of life participating in some form of athletics or another. Athletics includes all track events such as sprints, hurdles, middle distance and long distance running as well as field events like javelin throwing, long jump and shotput.

Ghana’s national track team is perhaps its most successful national team, having won several medals on the international stage including gold medal wins at Commonwealth games events since 1990. The country also boasts many elite athletes who have competed in the Olympics. Some of these include: Aziz Zakari (silver medalist in men’s 100m at 2000 Sydney Olympics), Ignatius Gaisah (silver medalist in men’s long jump at 2008 Beijing Olympics), Vida Anim (bronze medalist in women’s 400m hurdles at 2004 Athens Olympics), Flings Owusu-Agyapong (bronze medalist in women’s 200m at 2012 London Olympics) and Emmanuel Clottey (bronze medalist in men’s triple jump at 2016 Rio Olympics).

World-class stadiums in Ghana

World-class stadiums in Ghana are some of the finest venues for sports events in Africa. The Accra Sports Stadium, for example, is a modern, state-of-the-art facility that can seat up to 40,000 spectators and has hosted major international competitions over the years. It boasts modern facilities such as an electronic scoreboard with player statistics and current scores, as well as floodlight systems for night games, allowing sports events such as championship boxing matches or soccer games between some of Africa’s biggest teams to be televised worldwide. Another world-class stadium in Ghana is the Baba Yara Sports Stadium located in Kumasi, which is home to one of the oldest clubs in the country – Kumasi Asante Kotoko Sports Club. This stadium can hold up to 45,000 people and has hosted several major international sporting events since its opening in 1960.

The Tamale Sports Stadium is also regarded as one of the best stadiums in West Africa, and it has been renovated multiple times over the years to ensure that it remains a top-class venue. It currently has a capacity of 25,000 people and hosts a variety of domestic and international sports tournaments on an annual basis. In addition to these world-class stadiums, there are also several other high quality venues across Ghana that host numerous local sporting competitions throughout the year. Smaller stadiums such as Sekondi Sports Complex provide great facilities for amateur football teams while larger complexes like Achimota Sports Stadium showcase exceptional professional talent during matches between some of Ghana’s most popular clubs.

Olympics sport in Ghana

In recent years there has been an increase of Ghanaians competing at international sporting events such as the Olympics.

In 2010, Ghana experienced a historic first as they participated in the Winter Olympics. The nation qualified with an impressive score of 137.5 International Ski Federation points that ranged between 120 and 140 points at the time. Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong – affectionally dubbed ‘The Snow Leopard’ – became Ghana’s pioneer athlete to take part in this winter sports event held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where he competed in slalom skiing specifically. Ghana placed a remarkable 47th out of 102 countries, 54 of which specialized in alpine ski slalom at the international level. Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong further made history by becoming only the second black African skier to break into this competitive circuit.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ghana sent a team of 27 athletes to compete in nine different sports including athletics, boxing, judo, taekwondo and swimming. The country garnered two medals during these games: one silver medal for men’s discus thrower John Ampomah and one bronze medal for women’s 100m sprinter Janet Amponsah. These performances marked a strong showing from the country at that year’s competition.

In order to make sure their teams are well-prepared ahead of time for upcoming competitions like the Olympics, Sports Ministry also organises various national championships every year which serve as qualifying events for national teams heading into major tournaments like Rio or Tokyo. These championships help identify talented players who can go on to represent Ghana on an international level.

Kwasi Owusu
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