The most popular sport in Mali is football (soccer) which became more prominent after Mali hosted the 2002 African Cup of Nations.
Most towns and cities have regular games; the most popular teams nationally are Djoliba AC, Stade Malien, and Real Bamako, all based in the capital. Informal games are often played by youths using a bundle of rags as a ball.
Basketball is another major sport; the Mali women’s national basketball team, led by Hamchetou Maiga, competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Traditional wrestling (la lutte) is also somewhat common, though popularity has declined in recent years. The game wari, a mancala variant, is a common pastime.