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World Football


This show gets right under the skin of world football with extraordinary stories, interviews, and features from BBC World Service's World Football.

This show gets right under the skin of world football with extraordinary stories, interviews, and features from BBC World Service's World Football.
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London, United Kingdom




This show gets right under the skin of world football with extraordinary stories, interviews, and features from BBC World Service's World Football.




Chicharito, Sam Kerr and a trip to Corsica

Mexican striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez looks ahead to the World Cup. Australia's Sam Kerr remembers her reluctant switch from AFL to soccer. We find out about the demise of the Corsican club SC Bastia. Plus, we speak to the first Englishman to play professional football in Brazil. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)


One Crazy Night in Rome

AS Roma President James Pallotta reflects on his team's astonishing win against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. We also hear from the former Liverpool and Valencia coach Pako Ayestaran. Plus, will theCopa America Femenina 2018 in Chile help give a much needed boost to women'a football in South America? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)


The Goalkeeper Who Wants to be an Astronaut and other stories

Former Vitesse Arnhem and FC Twente Goalkeeper Wouter Dronkers talks about his interest in medicine, astrophysics and aliens. We also hear fromm the Benin international Steve Mounie about the pressures of being in a Premier League relegation fight. And the Philippines national team captain Phil Youngblood relives the moment he made history.


Warming Up for the World Cup

We’re on the road for the latest round of international friendlies. Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi, Poland's Lukasz Fabianski and Tunisia’s Yohan Benalouane discuss their World Cup preparations. Plus, we hear from 1998 World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu. He reflects on Paul Pogba’s worrying form and tells us how Jose Mourinho’s ‘tough love’ is causing serious problems for the French national team. He also tells us why it was more fun to be a footballer in the 1990s than now. (Picture: Tunisian...


A Very Curious Match and the Sad Story of Femi Opabunmi

Was the Malta team that lost 12-1 to Spain in 1983 the victim of a doping scandal? Malta's Carmel Busuttil dismisses claims that they were drugged by contaminated lemons. Nigeria's Femi Opabunmi tells us how his career was cut short after losing the sight in one eye. Canada's international goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe discusses her decision to play for a men's team. And we travel to Minsk to find out if BATE Borisov's domination is damaging for football in Belarus. (Picture: Spain's 1983...


Greek Super League Suspension, Veteran Football and Remolding Mali

What can be done to fix Greek football? With the league suspended after the PAOK president Ivan Savvidis invaded the pitch to protest against a late goal being disallowed for his side, we speak to Herbert Hübel, the man leading the Fifa monitoring committee that oversees football in Greece. Freddie Kanoute, the former West Ham, Tottenham striker calls for football in his native Mali to be "reshaped" in a bid to rejuvenate the sport in the country. Former Scottish Professional footballer...


Will Gay Fans Be Safe at the World Cup in Russia?

With less than 100 days to go to the World Cup Russia’s anti-racism inspector, Alexey Smertin, says that black and gay fans shouldn’t fear going to the tournament but Aleksandr Agapov, President of Russia’s LGBT sports federation, doubts that there will be a legacy after the tournament. We hear how Jean Ssinende, arguably Uganda’s biggest football star, had to iron clothes for money as a 12-year-old to pay for her first boots, and why she flew to England by herself to start a new life as a...


Monday Night Boycotts, Cancelled Seasons and Stadiums for All

The Borussia Dortmund Chief Executive Hans-Joachim Watzke explains why German fans are staying home and being counted in protest over Monday games in the Bundesliga. The world's most expensive defender Virgil van Dijk tells us how he's had to "step up" his game to settle in at Liverpool after his transfer from Southampton. We hear from the woman behind the Open Stadiums twitter account, a movement of Iranian Women seeking to end discrimination & let women attend stadiums. Rishi Sehgal, the...


The Troubles of a Premier League Footballer

Former Premier League footballer Kieron Dyer talks about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and explains how that affected his football career. The coach of the Afghanistan women's team discusses the challenges she faces. Switzerland international Gelson Fernandes looks back on his time at Manchester City. And we remember the life and times of the record-breaking goalkeeper who was known as Crazy Sword...Malaysia's Chow Chee Yeong.


Saudis in Spain, Mauricio Pellegrino and Östersunds FK

Will Saudi Arabia's deal with La Liga backfire if their players don't get game time ahead of Russia 2018? Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino talks about the pressure footballers face. We discuss the state of football in Egypt and visit the Swedish club Östersunds FK. (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)


Gus Poyet, Jade North and Gernot Rohr

The former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet talks about his time in the Chinese Super League and discusses the pressures of coaching. We also hear from the former Australia international Jade North about his struggles with depression and discrimination. And the coach of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr, tells us it's ridiculous to suggest that there's an attitude problem among African players. (Photo: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images)


Racism in Germany, Morocco 2026 and Pochettino

Nigerian international Leon Balogun talks about the racist abuse he has suffered in Germany. Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino remembers the moment that changed his life and talks about his fondness for Barcelona. We also assess Morocco's bid to host the World Cup in 2026 and speak to Matthew Beard - the coach of the now defunct Boston Breakers. (Picture by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images)


Taribo West, Steve Parish and the FIFA Way

Nigeria's Taribo West talks about the pitfalls of being a footballer. Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish discusses his club's turnaround this season. And FIFA whistle blower Bonita Merciades talks about her new book, 'Whatever It Takes - the Inside Story of the FIFA Way'. (Photo by Mark Sandten/Bongarts/Getty Images)


The pioneers

A female football fan tells us what it was like when her dream of watching her favourite team in the flesh came true. Fathers teaching their young daughters about football tactics, women attending stadia without guardians and, later in 2018, being allowed to drive. Is football heralding a new era in the Kingdom? In the week that Spartak Moscow describe three of their black players as “chocolates” in a joke, the Nigeria striker, Peter Odemwingie, tells us there’s no racism in Russia....


In Conversation with Pablo Zabaleta

Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta talks about the heartbreak of losing a World Cup final. We explore the problem of sexism in football with Mansfield Town's CEO Carolyn Radford. And the Malawi coach Ronny Van Geneugden discusses the challenges he faces.


Melon Trees, Presidents and Orphans

Cameroon's Lauren on the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup. The former AC Milan striker George Weah tells us how Nelson Mandela inspired him to become the President of Liberia. And Nigerian international Odion Ighalo on fulfilling his dream of opening an orphanage in Lagos. Plus, we on the island of Jersey as they bid to get an national football team. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)


The Road to Russia: The Story of World Cup Dreams and Heartbreak

Relive the highs and lows on the road to Russia 2018. Over two years ago, teams from 210 nations began the qualification campaign for next year's World Cup. There was joy for Panama and Iceland. Syria went close despite the civil war. And there was heartbreak for Italy, the USA and Ivory Coast. From the earliest matches in the Himalayas, to Peru claiming the final spot, this is story of World Cup qualification. (Photo: ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images)


Football’s Wild West: The Story of the North American Soccer League

Exactly 50 years ago, the North American Soccer League was launched in the USA. During its heyday in the 1970s it attracted some of the biggest names in the world game like Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Gerd Müller, George Best and Pele. This is the story of the hype-and-chaos surrounding the rapid rise and dramatic fall of the NASL featuring former players Rodney Marsh, Bob Rigby and Chris Dangerfield. (Photo by Peter Read Miller /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)


US Soccer Politics, Adnan Januzaj and Steaua Bucharest

US Soccer Presidential candidate Steve Gans outlines his vision for the future of the game. We hear from Real Sociedad's Adnan Januzaj and Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. And we visit Steaua Bucharest, currently playing in Romania's fourth division.


Brazil Still Hurting

World Cup winner Rai explains why Brazil could struggle at Russia 2018. The former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele remembers how he persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to sign David de Gea. And New Zealand's Rory Fallon on why he's turned his back on football to go into the ice cream business. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)


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