Soccer is the most popular sports in the Republic of Congo. The Congolese football Federation was founded in 1962 and became soon became accredited by the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA). The National Soccer Team is nicknamed “Les Diables Rouges,” (The Red Devils). In 1965, the Congolese national soccer team won the African games tournament and won their first African Cup of Nations in 1972 held in Yaounde, Cameroon, marking a landmark in Congolese sports history.
The city of Brazzaville is home to one of the most modern and sophisticated stadiums in the Republic of Congo. The Alphonse Massamba Debat stadium or the Revolution Stadium is the national stadium with a soccer field, an athletics track, and a handball court. The stadium can hold approximately 25,000 people. The 1965 All-Africa Games and the 2004 African Championships in Athletics were held in this stadium. Rising young soccer players such as Sita Milandou and Mael Lepicier Tsonga symbolize the pride of Congolese soccer. Born in 1985, Sita Milandou currently plays for the Omani Giants. In 2009, he played at the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. Tsonga, a rising international Congolese soccer player who was born in 1986, plays full back for the Belgian first club division Mons. In order to showcase his support for sports, President Denis Sassou N’GUESSO was one of the Head of States to attend the opening games of the 2012 African Cup of Nations held in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. In 2015, the Republic of Congo is set to host 2015 All Africa Games in its capital city of Brazzaville.
Besides soccer, other sports such as basketball, handball and volleyball are also popular. Popular NBA and Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player, Serge Ibaka, is a symbol of basketball pride for the Congolese nation. During the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, England, he won a silver medal for his outstanding performance. While Basketball may seem to occupy the interests of young Congolese, tennis is another widespread sports. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, is a young professional Congolese tennis player who is a member of the Tennis Club of Paris. His exceptional tennis skills have led him to his semi-final performances at 2010 Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2011 and 2012.