5 most popular sports in Vietnam

Like its other Southeast Asian counterparts, sports hold much significance in Vietnam and have considerably impacted the country’s cultural landscape. For many communities, it is the one thing that brings together people of all ages and bridges the gaps. The elders, as well as the younger ones, like to take part in different kinds of sports.

The sports sector in Vietnam witnessed considerable improvement from 1975 onwards, and since then, various sports have flourished in the country. When it comes to the popularity of sports, some are more popular than others. Here are some of the most popular sports in Vietnam.

Football In Vietnam

Like any other part of the world, the Vietnamese love football more than any other sport. The sport was embraced right away when it was introduced in the country by the French in 1896. Initially, the sport was introduced to the region in Cochin, China only, and from there, it spread to other parts of the country.

When the country was divided in two, there were two football teams in South and North Vietnam. The two teams would play against other communist states between 1956 and 1966.

In 1960, the Vietnam Football Federation was formed as the governing body of football which oversees the national teams and leagues. Although the country has yet to participate in a global tournament, football is widely played on the domestic level and is very popular among the younger generation.

V.League 1 is Vietnam’s main professional league consisting of 14 clubs.

Volleyball In Vietnam

The popularity of volleyball has been rising in Vietnam in recent years. The best thing about the sport is that it can be played in a very small place with minimal setup requirements.

The country also has a strong national team which won a silver medal at the SEA Games.

The game is more popular among youngsters and is one of the most frequently played sports at different school levels, colleges, and universities. With the younger generation taking so much interest in the sport, it is expected that volleyball may emerge as one of the most prominent sports in the country in the future.

Badminton In Vietnam

At the professional level, Vietnam has a very strong badminton team. The sport is otherwise very commonly played in the country and is widely popular with young and middle-aged individuals. Whether you go to a park or the streets, the locals love to play in any open space they can find, and you will find people of different age groups playing badminton.

Since badminton requires minimum setup, you can find many badminton courts across the country, while many do not even need a proper net to play. All you need is to gather a few friends and join the fun.

Wrestling In Vietnam

The next most popular sport on our list is wrestling. Wrestling has been a part of the country’s tradition for a long time, and locals are fond of it. Even today, wrestling matches draw crowds in huge numbers.

One of the most prominent local wrestling tournaments is the National Wrestling Championship. The competition takes place in spring in different provinces of the country. The interesting thing about Vietnamese wrestling is that there is no rope or ring in the game. The locals draw a square of 32 feet on each side with a lime. Before the fight begins formally, the wrestlers rub their hands on the earth in a bid to provoke their opponent.

Cycling In Vietnam

Vietnam is a highly populous country for its area. So, you can expect heavy traffic on the roads. However, if you happen to visit the country, you will see a lot of bikers on the roads; despite the rush and crowds on the streets.

The Vietnamese love to cycle, and you will see them out and about on the roads on their bicycles. Even the countryside is rampant with bikers, as many use it as a source of commute. So, you may even see more than one person on the bike as well. People of all age groups use these cycles; children use them to go to school, women use them to go to the markets, and men prefer to use them to commute to work. Formal cycling competitions are very popular in the country.

Other than the five sports mentioned in the list, quite a few other sports are also very popular in Vietnam. These include basketball, futsal, athletics, cricket, and rugby. The national sport of Vietnam is da cau, also known as jianzi in China. It is a cross between football and badminton and similar to sepak takraw in terms of the format. Western influences have taken over in Vietnam, popularising other forms of sports, but the locals still love to play this traditional game.


What Sport Is Vietnam Good At?

Vietnam excels in a variety of sports, reflecting a diverse sporting culture. The most popular sport in Vietnam is football, widely participated in and enjoyed by many. The Vietnam national football team, along with the V-League (Vietnam’s top professional football league), demonstrates the country’s commitment to the sport. Football’s prominence in Vietnam has deep historical roots, dating back to its introduction by the French during the colonial era.

Aside from football, Vietnam sports also include other disciplines where the country has shown considerable skill and enthusiasm. Badminton is particularly notable, ranking as the second most popular sport in Vietnam. Additionally, volleyball, swimming, and various martial arts such as judo, karate, and kung fu are widely practiced and enjoyed. These sports illustrate the breadth of athletic talent and interest across the nation.

In terms of international competition, Vietnam has achieved notable success in the Olympic Games. The country has won Olympic medals in shooting, taekwondo, and weightlifting. These achievements highlight the strengths of Vietnam in specific sports on the global stage, indicating areas where Vietnamese athletes have excelled and gained international recognition.

While football may be the most popular sport in Vietnam and a significant part of the country’s national identity, the achievements in other sports areas like badminton, martial arts, and Olympic events underscore the diversity and depth of Vietnam’s sporting prowess.

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