Sport in Gerenia
Sport plays a significant part in the life of many Gerenians who are generally loyal supporters of their favourite teams or individuals.
The leading sport in Gerenia is association football, which draws the largest attention of both the media and supporters. The many other sports with professional or semi-professional leagues and structures include ice hockey, handball, rugby union, tennis, Hetlöhi and others. Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event and sinking several days after.
The events considered the most important by Gerenian fans is the FMF World Cup and qualification matches for it. In general, any international match involving a Gerenian national team draws attention, especially when played against a traditional rival, such as Senya in football.
The men's national team is currently one of the strongest sides in Apollonia. The team reached the semi-finals of the Copa Apollonia in 2013, and won the 2014 edition. The team also qualified for the World Cup in 2014, 2015, and 2017. In 2015 the team obtained a largely-celebrated fourth position.
In domestic football, the Gerenian League 1 is the top-level in the Gerenian football league system. The most successful clubs are KPSK Isherwood and Ramez White Stars. Both clubs, with KP International, are the main suppliers of the national team, and participate in international competitions (the AEFA Champions' League and the AEFA Cup) regularly.
Women's football is also very popular in the country. Gerenia was amongst the first nations to create a professional league for women, the Gerenian Women's First Division, and assemble a national team. In 2015 and 2016, the national team won the Women's World Championships.
The governing body is the SHG, which administers the national championship, the Gerenian Ice Hockey League. The League is the top ice hockey competition in Gerenia. The most successful team in the country is Dínamo Tawlkar, with two national titles. Most of the ice hockey teams are based in Erstveda province.
The MHL competitions, in which Gerenian teams take part, are followed by thousands of spectators.
Rugby union is popular among Gerenians, especially in the northern provinces. Many tournaments at provincial and regional level are held every year, of which the most important is the Gerenian Rugby Championship. There is a national team, however, due to lack of international interest, they have played only a few matches since its formation in 2013.
Handball is a fast-growing sport in Gerenia. The Handball Association was founded in 2013 and since then it promotes the sport throughout the country. The Gerenian National Handball League is the most important competition, and the only one at national level. Other minor tournaments run in parallel.
There are 3,000 registered tennis players, making it the most populra individual sport. The best players go on tours around the country, and participate in different tournaments in the main cities.