BBC plans special programming around Fifa World Cup

MUMBAI: As Africa plays host to the Fifa World Cup for the first time this June, the BBC’s international news services will offer a global perspective on events in the build-up to, and during, the tournament.

From within this continent and beyond, special interactive programming will connect fans around the world, while the BBC’s multi-lingual services will offer comprehensive sporting analysis, a mix of news and current affairs and local, regional and international insights.

Pre-tournament programming highlights include Africa Kicks, a journey through the region of West Africa that has produced a wealth of international football talent. The Power and the Passion is a new four part series on BBC World Service English in which writer and broadcaster David Goldblatt examines the relationship between football and fans, as he travels to four fiercely contested local derby games in Ghana, Italy, Egypt and the UK.

George Weah and Didier Drogba’s exploits off the pitch are the focus of Life on the Edge on BBC World News. BBC Swahili will be producing a special series on the ‘health’ of football in East Africa, while BBC Hausa will examine the significance of the World Cup for Africa.

Over the course of the tournament, BBC World Service will have a special daily multimedia show, World Cup Have Your Say, which moves the football pundits aside to let fans air their views. The World Today, presented by Komla Dumor and Ros Atkins, will be live from Soweto, and special editions of Sportsworld with Russell Fuller will feature interviews, analysis and insight covering the full spectrum of international teams. World Football will have a special focus on football in South Africa and the impact of apartheid on the game.

On BBC World News, Football Focus will bring audiences contributions and analysis from four times Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf, World Cup winner Juergen Klinsmann, England legend Alan Shearer and Togolese international and Manchester City star Emmanuel Adebayor. Sport Today with Sean Fletcher will provide daily news and updates on all the stories from the tournament.

Fast Track, the flagship sports show presented by Farayi Mungazi on BBC World Service, will feature news, interviews and special reports around the tournament.

A range of the BBC’s international non English-language services will be bringing the atmosphere, stories and news to audiences around the world. For BBC Arabic, Sherif El-Sherif is hosting a multimedia show, while BBC Persian will be examining the cultural, social and economic impact of the tournament on South Africa. BBC Brasil will be following the fortunes of the Brazilian team and finding out what the Brazilian organisation for the 2014 tournament can learn from South Africa. Other services offering daily news, stories and updates include BBC Hausa, BBC Swahili, BBC Hindi, BBC Para Africa and BBC Mundo. is offering an extensive range of video and interactive content to ensure football fans are kept fully up to date with the competition online. Video collections will include Road to South Africa, featuring the qualifying goals that won teams their place in the tournament, as well as 32 team profile vignettes of the teams themselves. will include blogs and insight, as well as live text commentary of all the games from morning to midnight. It will also include interviews, a World Cup daily gossip column and interactive areas where fans can contribute their voice to events through mobile, SMS and social media.

In addition, a search for international football memorabilia will be the focus of Fans’ Football Favourites, while My First World Cup will bring together a unique international squad – players all taking part in their first World Cup.

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