Sport in Burkina Faso is widespread and includes football, basketball, cycling, rugby union, handball, tennis, athletics, boxing and martial arts.[1][2]


Football is very popular in Burkina Faso, played both professionally and informally in towns and villages across the country.[1] The national team is nicknamed "Les Etalons" ("the Stallions") in reference to the legendary horse of Princess Yennenga.[1] In 1998, Burkina Faso hosted the African Cup of Nations for which the Omnisport Stadium in Bobo-Dioulasso was built.[1][3]


Basketball is one of the top sports in Burkina Faso for both men and women. Its national team had its best year in 2013 when it qualified for the AfroBasket, the continent's most prestigious basketball event.[citation needed]

Rugby union

Rugby union, or just rugby, in Burkina Faso is relatively new, but growing more popular every year. Rugby was introduced by the French, who had ruled Burkina Faso, or Upper Volta, as it was known at the time, for many years. Rugby in Burkina Faso is, like many other nations in Africa, centered around the capital, Ouagadougou.[citation needed]


Cycling is widespread both as a sport and as a cheap means of transport.[1] The Tour du Faso, approved by the Fédération internationale de cyclisme, is a cycling event held annually in November that covers 811 miles. The stage race takes place at temperatures up to 40°C.[1] It has been part of the UCI Africa Tour since 2005.[citation needed]

Olympic Games

Burkina Faso has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games held since 1988. Under its previous name of Upper Volta, the country also competed in 1972. Despite appearing in six different Olympics, Burkina Faso has never won an Olympic medal. No athletes from Burkina Faso have competed in any Winter Olympic Games.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Marchais, p.102
  2. ^ Oxfam
  3. ^ Gleeson