The traditional sport of Saudi Arabia was camel racing. It used to be and still is very popular in Saudi Arabia. The history of the people is closely linked with their camels.
In the recent times, Soccer (football) is regarded as the national sport and is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia.
Football has grown in popularity, and some Saudi players currently play in Europe. The Saudi Arabian national football team is governed by the Saudi Football Federation (SFF). The SFF organizes the Saudi Leagues, and the Saudi Arabian Cup.
Achievements from the AFC Cup include being the Champions in 1984, 1988, and recently, in 1996. The current player of the year is Hussein Sulaimani, who is the captain of Saudi Arabian football team. Saudi Arabia also regularly participates in the Gulf Cup of Nations, AFC Champions League, and Arab Nations Cup.
Other known football player is Mohamed Abdullaziz Al-Deayea, a Saudi Arabian retired football goalkeeper. He played in four FIFA World Cups for the Saudi Arabia national team and earned a total of 176 caps. He also achieved the first best Goalkeeper of the Century from Asia award ahead of Nasser Hejazi in second and In-Young Choi in third place respectively.
Saudi Arabia has competed in eight Summer Olympic Games. They first appeared in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. They have never competed in the Games. Since the early 1980s, Saudi athletes have proudly represented the Kingdom in an increasing number of regional and international competitions. The Saudi soccer team qualified for its first appearance in 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1989, Saudi Arabia hosted the fifth World Youth Soccer Cup Championship, won the championship, and received a special commendation from FIFA, the international soccer federation, for the outstanding manner in which it has organized the event.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Saudi Arabia. Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.
Popular sports of Saudi Arabia
- Football (Soccer)
- Camel Racing
Saudi Arabia Sporting Success
- AFC Cup Champions in 1984, 1988, and 1996.
Great athletes from Saudi Arabia
- Mohamed Abdullaziz Al-Deayea (football)
Saudi Arabia Sports trivia
- The Paris-Dakar rally was an annual rally raid event that finished in Dakar Senegal. Since 2020, the race is held entirely in Saudi Arabia.
- In 2022, the Saudi Arabia team achieved one of the greatest upsets in FIFA World Cup history, defeating one of the tournament favorites Argentina 2-1 in their opening game.
Saudi Arabia at major events
- Saudi Arabia at the Summer Olympics
- Saudi Arabia at the Winter Olympics
- Saudi Arabia at the FIFA World Cup
- Saudi Arabia at the AFC Asian Cup
Past sporting events hosted in Saudi Arabia
- 2012 Arab Cup
Upcoming sporting events in Saudi Arabia
- 2023 Weightlifting World Championships, Riyadh
- 2023 World Combat Games in Riyadh
- 2025 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Riyadh
- 2027 AFC Asian Cup
- 2029 Asian Winter Games, Neom
- 2034 Asian Games in Riyadh