World football’s governing body, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has this past Tuesday April 12th, launched a digital streaming platform named FIFA Plus with plans to stream 40,000 live football matches per year.
The games will come from 100 FIFA member associations across all six of its federations. That includes 11,000 women’s matches and 29,000 men’s games.
FIFA intends to cover a wide range of games from Europe’s top-flight football leagues to previously unserved (not attended to) competitions from around the world.
For example; fans from across the globe say Kenya can tune in to games coming live today from New Zealand, Kuwait, Iraq, Mongolia among many others, all of which can be accessed through the Match Centre.
1,400 matches will be streamed live in the first month, with that number accelerating over time.
Go back in time courtesy of the FIFA+ Archives
The app will be home to every FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever recorded on camera, with more than 2,000 hours of archive content across 2,500+ videos reaching back into the 1950s with many more to be added.
Here, fans will get to see full-match replays (like that classic “Hand Of God” goal by the late great Diego Maradona back in the 1986 World Cup edition), highlights, goals and magical moments.
A host of Netflix-style original documentaries
There is a vast lineup of original series featuring full-length documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, talk shows and localized short films.
This special segment is dedicated to telling captivating stories about football from the grassroots level all the way to national teams not forgetting footballing heroes of the past and present and their impact towards “the beautiful game.”
Some of the docuseries available to watch right now are;
- Ronaldinho: The Happiest Man In The World – This is an exclusive documentary with an extensive never-before-seen archive about the former Brazil and Barcelona football legend Ronaldinho. The series follows his childhood in Brazil, his rise to professional football from the streets of his native country and journey to Europe to ultimately becoming one of the game’s most celebrated players.
- Captains: Season One – An 8 part series following 6 team captains; Luka Modric (Croatia), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Andre Blake (Jamaica) and Hassan Maatouk (Lebanon) as they lead their respective nations through the qualification phase for the 2022 World Cup.
- Dani Crazy Dream – A 6 part documentary about Dani Alves, the most decorated player in the history of world football as he tries to make it to this year’s World Cup in Qatar as well as a preview of his long and successful career.
- Golden Boot – A story about the World Cup’s greatest goal scorers over the years.
- Academies – An inside story of some of the greatest talent production lines there is in world football. Season One follows the journey of a few graduates from Belgian club, Anderletch FC‘s youth academy who’ve managed to establish themselves as some of the biggest and most talented football stars on earth today.
- Icons – This is a 5 part series featuring interviews with five of the biggest game changers of the women’s game. Sam Kerr, Wendie Renard, Lucy Bronze, Carli Lloyd and Asisat Oshoala narrate their journeys in their own words.
- HD Cutz – An original 8 part docusery with South London-based pro-barber Sheldon Edwards, known to many in England as HD Cutz. In this segment, he talks fashion, food, music and of course, football. In the 1st episode, he leaves his barber shop in London and journeys to the city of Manchester where he will tend to the hair of Manchester United stars; Aaron Wan Bissaka and Paul Pogba.
All of these have been created by several production companies.
Content on this new platform will continue to grow as time progresses, providing fresh and globally relevant content across the year.
A daily global news center coupled with engaging activities
The federation also notes that users will be offered a daily news feed on football around the globe and interactive games including polling votes, trivia quizzes, predictors and fantasy games throughout the year.
Is FIFA Plus free or do I have to cough up some cash?
This new streaming service is free for now, but that could change in time with subscription fees a very real possibility for the platform in future.
Head of FIFA Plus, Charlotte Burr tells Variety Magazine that depending on how the platform evolves, FIFA may introduce gaming content, social features and eventually a paid subscription to the streaming service.
Where can I find FIFA Plus?
It initially starts with five languages; English, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish, with an additional six languages to follow soon in June this year.
NOTE: FIFA+ will sadly not be showing any live World Cup matches this year.
The reason for this, Charlotte Burr says, “There’s no plan to have premium World Cup live rights on the platform today.”
A streamer with a decent future? Possibly Yes
With the draw for the 2022 World Cup having taken place earlier this month, FIFA is now hoping to build on the excitement and gather momentum ahead of the start of the competition in Mid-November and what better way to do it than launching its own streamer.
At Tuesday’s launch, FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino expressed optimism concerning the potential future success of the new digital service, reiterating that it would expand ways in which fans connect and interact with football as a sport.
“FIFA+ represents the next step in our vision to make football truly global and inclusive, and it underpins FIFA’s core mission of expanding and developing football globally. It will accelerate the democratization of football and we are delighted to share it with fans.“