Burkina Faso Sports

Burkina Faso Sports and Religion



The province of Sourou is the stronghold of the ” Lutte traditionnelle “, a centuries-old wrestling match that is widespread in West Africa. Competitions are held annually in Tougan and Toma.

National heavyweight champion (over 100 kg) was, for example, on May 4th 2014 Alfred Zan Bani, who is also called “the thunder of Kadiogo”.

In cycling, the ” Tour du Faso ” (DLF reference to documentary film) has taken place every year in Burkina Faso since 1987. In 32 editions so far, 14 Burkinabe cyclists have been successful, most recently in 2018. The Tour du Faso planned for October 2014 was canceled due to the risk of Ebola.

Irène Tiendrébéogo took part as a high jumper in World Championships and the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Laetitia Bambara won gold in hammer throwing at the 2014 African Championships. Marthe Koala won gold in the heptathlon. The latter competed in the 100 m hurdles for Burkina Faso in Rio in 2016. A total of five athletes for Burkina Faso were there in Rio.

Boxing was promoted in the early 1990s by the Munich tourism operator Siggi Krigar († 2009) and produced the 1996 African champion Nabaloum Dramane in the super featherweight division. He became an idol of youth and is still known today under the name Boum-Boum.

In football, the teams ASFA Yennenga, EFO (Etoile filante de Ouagadougou), Planète Champion (club of the football academy) or Santos FC Ouagadougou traditionally fight for the Burkinabe championship every year.

Internationally, the Burkinabe national soccer team was able to qualify for eleven African Championships (CAN) from 1978 to 2019, but was eliminated eight times in the preliminary round. In 1998 the “Étalons” (= stallions) took fourth place in their own country. In the preferred CAN in South Africa 2013, Burkina Faso was able for the first time in the history of the finals qualify, but lost on 10/02/2013 against Nigeria 1: 0.

According to topb2bwebsites, at the CAN 2017 in Gabon, Burkina Faso reached 3rd place with a 1-0 win over Ghana. The government paid around EUR 4 million to participate.

All national players are obliged to join foreign clubs. Footballers like Jonathan Pitroipa, Wilfried Sanou or Aristide Bancé play or have played in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Bundesliga. A friendly game against Nigeria had to be canceled on March 25, 2017 because the visas of the players and supervisors for London, where the game was supposed to take place, were not issued in time.

After the German-French Gernot Rohr, the Portuguese became Paulo Duarte new Burkinabe national coach.


In rural areas there are still forms of an “animism” that has been lived for centuries, perhaps millennia, the essence of which is communication with ancestors and the appeasement of spirits. According to the prevailing religious-metaphysical ideas, God “Wende”, the builder of the cosmos, has removed himself far from the world and has left the rule over earth and air to spirits. Mask dances – especially at funeral ceremonies -, fetish sacrifices, ritual questioning of ancestors, councils of elders, talismans and supernatural outflows of power are some of the ritual elements that determine life in the villages and their influence extends into city life.

Except for the Fulbe, who are 99% Muslim, the ethnic groups – even the families – are mixed in their religious affiliation. Because school education was originally in the hands of the Catholic missionaries, the vast majority of professors and politicians are Catholic, although Catholics make up barely 15% of the population. The majority of merchants are Muslim and some of them have been taught in Koran schools. A fanatically intolerant form of Islam can not be found in Burkina Faso. Muslims visit their Christian friends on Christian holidays and vice versa. According to the NGO International Crisis Group, Burkina Faso is an exception among the Sahel countries to what the Diversity of religions and tolerance are concerned.

In the practice of their religion, both Muslims and Catholics fall back on many elements of ancestral and spirit beliefs. If these elements cannot be integrated, their derivatives live on in the cities as a parallel religion. Half-covered to open, diverse forms of charlatanry and ” maraboutage ” bloom, in which some take advantage of the uncertainty of many and which have nothing to do with spirituality. Protestant groups (approx. 5% of the population) tend to use animism as a foil from which they want to distinguish the new teaching and thus continue to adhere to it negatively.

Burkina Faso Sports