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Fifa to show archive matches on social media channels to serve fans in isolation

Fifa has opened up its match archive across its multiple content channels and is calling on fans to vote to watch their favourite World Cup matches in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The governing body is planning a large-scale social media campaign around the release of the content which is designed to compensate isolated fans for the lack of live sports content during the crisis.

The #WorldCupAtHome campaign will offer fans the opportunity to watch more than 30 games from the Fifa World Cup and Fifa Women’s World Cup – the first time any of the matches have been available online.

The governing body has already invited fans to vote on which matches they wish to see from the 2014 Men’s World Cup and the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The men’s match will be shown in full on Saturday and the women’s match on Sunday.

Fifa plans to generate significant amounts of social media engagement around the premiere of each game and turn them into appointment-to-view events akin to live match broadcasts.

“Additional engagement opportunities will also allow the community to interact with live chat on YouTube, votes for favourite moment of the match across various Fifa social media channels will further re-simulate the live match experience, while documentaries and interviews with famous football players and coaches will further deepen the content inventory,” said a Fifa statement.

The governing body said fans will be able to access the content via Fifa.com, via the Fifa YouTube channel, with full details of the inventory being made available on the Fifa Twitter account and supporting competition social media channels – @FifaWorldCup and @FifaWWC – on a daily basis.

Fifa is arguably less exposed to the Covid-19 crisis than other football rights-holders as it has no major events scheduled in what could be the worst of the crisis this year. However, it has agreed to delay the inaugural staging of its revamped Club World Cup in China next year to accommodate the new dates for the European Championship and Copa América national team tournaments.

Today (Friday), the French Professional League (LFP) gave its French pay-television broadcast partners, Canal Plus and beIN Sport, access to a host of archive content for free following the postponement of the league due to the Covid-19 outbreak.