For all passionate soccer fans, this summer 2021 is going to be the most exciting season of the past 4 years. The current soccer games that are being held all through Europe are actually keeping millions of fervent soccer supporters on the edge of their seats.
But was soccer the same all way back since its origins? Probably, you already know the answer: soccer at its beginning was absolutely a less engaging and attractive sport. Also, it wasn’t as popular as it is in the present day. The diffusion of soccer as a national sport in many countries of the world is actually a recent step in its development, at least historically speaking.
Sports At The Islamic Games 1980
It’s interesting to notice that soccer had a different destiny in other areas of the planet where it arrived. In the Middle East, soccer had a reasonably positive reception as well as other team sports. In fact, it was included in the Islamic Games along with athletics, basketball, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling. These 7 sports were and still are part of the Islamic Games started on 26th September and completed on 6th October 1980.
Just a little more than 40 years ago, Turkey’s government thought to create a multi-sport event for only Muslim athletes and players from countries in the Middle East and further. It should correspond to pan-European championships that were already well-established in Europe. Also, the Islamic Games were planned to be held every four years, as it happens for Olympic Games since ancient times.
The first edition of the Islamic Games took place in Izmir (a large city in western Anatolia, Turkey, and one of the most crowded after Ankara and Instanbul). The invitation to take part in the first edition of the Islamic Games came to knock on the door of a large number of countries, forty-two. Although this had to be a good start in these pan-Islamic games, only ten countries accepted to compete at the sports events: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Lybia, Malaysia, Morocco, Northern Cyprus, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, of course.
And The Winner Is…
At the end of the event, Turkey resulted to be the country with more medals won during the several games. Beyond gaining 6 golden medals, Turkey still won 38 silver medals and 16 bronze medals. You might get shocked to know that Turkey got nearly half of the total number of won medals at the Islamic Games, 117 won prizes out of 244. On the opposite, Bangladesh was the nation that could score the least positions, with only 4 bronze medals. Between these two extreme poles, Algeria showed to have pretty good athletes for the different sports hosted by the event. In fact, Algeria could win 41 medals in total.
Probably, things were expected to go better in 1983 with Saudi Arabia hosting the second edition of the Islamic Games, but unfortunately, the event wasn’t held.
The Heritage Of The Islamic Games Today
A couple of the most remarkable developments of the Islamic Games up to the present day consist of the Women’s Islamic Games, a female athletes-dedicated event that started in 1993, and the Islamic Solidarity Games, launched in the sports world by Saudi Arabia in 2005. Both events are multi-sport and contribute to creating a strong legacy among the major Islamic nations.
Soccer is one of the several sports that are played during these Islamic events with the Islamic Solidarity Games including more sports like boxing, badminton, diving, fencing, shooting, taekwondo, futsal, and a few more. The Islamic Solidarity Games is actually a larger and more comprehensive sports event which is still being held since 2005. The next edition is going to be held in 2022 in Konya, Turkey, and there’s also the 6th edition on the agenda for 2025 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The Industry Of Sports
Who from the last century could say that sports would be one of the world’s biggest industries in the future? Maybe nobody could imagine that sports at the present day represent a rich source of profits for all the companies that manufacture sportswear, for those that organize and advertise the events, and for the companies that work in the bookmaking field.
Betting on sports is one of the most engaging ways to live all the thrills of a game. The most relevant evolution in the way you can place a bet on sports is represented by online bookmakers: this football betting source is the ideal place on the internet for Arabic-speaking soccer fans, it’s safe and halal, and you can choose a variety of betting options and sports games. Don’t miss the next game for anything on earth!