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FA Cup Streams Fixtures on Facebook

The FA have taken matters into their own hands this week, streaming two games from the FA Cup 5th round on their official Facebook page.

Wednesday morning’s clash between Reading and Sheffield United, which saw the Blades triumph 2-1 in extra time was the first game.

Leicester City’s home fixture against Championship side Birmingham City, which kicks off at 6:45 AEDT is the second game that will be broadcast live onto Facebook.

As is the case with Facebook streaming, fans will not have to pay a single cent to watch this tie.

Partnering with Facebook will certainly allow the FA access to a much larger fanbase, with Facebook easily the largest social media website on the planet.

When you combine that with the lack of a fee to watch the game, fans from across the UK can watch two famous English teams do battle for a spot in the sixth round.

The FA have previously used gambling agencies such as bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power to stream some FA Cup games. But the FA are feeling the heat in that department and now seem to be keen to use alternative websites to stream games.

A few months ago, we wrote a piece about the affect that potential changes to the UK’s Gambling Act could have on clubs who use gambling agencies as major sponsors.

The FA could be in a similar position to that, hence why they are now turning away from the gambling industry.

The aforementioned gambling agencies no longer have the rights to stream games not being streamed by major broadcasters, therefore allowing the FA to dip into social media.

Most FA Cup games are shown on major broadcast channels such as Bein Sports and mainly BT Sport in the UK.

The FA does give worldwide fans access to match highlights via its Twitter page, meaning that if you aren’t able to watch these games either on Bein Sports, BT Sport or on Facebook, the highlights are available after the final whistle.

Obtaining the broadcast rights for a match involving a club in the Champions League spots is a huge coup for Facebook.

When excluding their extraordinary title triumph back in 2016, many fans think of the Foxes and immediately think of a side who are probably good for middle table most seasons.

However, under Brendan Rodgers, a manager who nearly took Liverpool to an unlikely Premier League title a few years ago, Leicester fans have been able to dream again of playing European football.

Having one of their games streamed for free on the largest social media platform on the planet is a massive deal and fans in the UK would be chuffed.

The Sheffield United match was also a fantastic piece of business, especially seeing how the match played out.

Chris Wilder has taken the Blades to levels unimaginable at the start of the season. Sheffield United are an outside chance of playing European football next season, only one year after gaining promotion from the Championship.

Their match against Reading was a tightly fought contest, with an extra-time winner from Blades’ striker Billy Sharp seeing his side through to the quarter finals.

It is unlikely that more games in this year’s FA Cup will be shown for free on Facebook, but it certainly a great sign that the FA are willing to this and not just because it is at the behest of gambling agencies.

Would you like to see more games streamed for free online? Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more articles just like this.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

FIFA and Mexican Football Federation’s Supercopa Femenil to encourage growth in women’s football

FIFA

With the financial support of FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation has launched the FIFA | FMF Supercopa Femenil (Women’s Super Cup) as part of its women’s football development programme.

The five-day U-15 tournament (between 3-7 August) organised in Toluca, provided 206 players across 12 teams from Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Baja California, Chihuahua, as well as a representative team from the United States, with an opportunity to have their talents detected by scouts from both Liga MX, and the Mexican national teams.

FIFA will provide technical support, equipment and funding for two years, as well as education and empowerment through seminars for coaches.

The FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme aims to provide all 211 member associations with the opportunity to apply for, and access additional resources and specialist expertise to develop women’s football at a national level.

Member associations can apply for support across eight key areas of women’s football development during the 2020-2023 period. In addition to financial assistance to cover the costs in selected programmes, the FIFA Women’s Development Programme will also provide access to women’s football experts, additional equipment and technical support within FIFA.

“The Supercopa Femenil was born from the dream of bringing Mexican youth players to a competitive showcase for women’s football in our country, attracting the best academies that are supporting the development of players in this category. This has resulted in a life-changing experience to be scouted by national team staff, and those of Liga MX Femenil teams,” Lucia Mijares, FMF Technical Sports Development Director, said in a statement.

Andrea Rodebaugh, FIFA Women’s Football Consultant, added via FIFA:

“Observing the Supercopa Femenil in Mexico has been inspirational. Its implementation is helping strengthen pathways by showcasing talent, motivating players and coaches as well as sharing knowledge and unique experiences so that growth continues where needed. There is so much talent, potential and support from everyone in the FMF. I am very optimistic for the future.”

Karl Dodd, FIFA Women’s Football Expert, stated via FIFA:

“The Supercopa has been well organised and provides a great opportunity for players to gain experience playing against top teams in their age group. It also enables scouts to watch these players, and for coaches to undertake development workshops to further improve the positive impact they have on players, supporting their personal and professional development.”

EA Sports to be the title sponsor for all LaLiga competitions

EA Sports & LaLiga

Beginning from the 2023-24 season onwards, a new multi-year agreement between EA Sports and LaLiga will pave the way for new experiences, deeper in-game integrations, enhanced broadcast communications, and commitment to grassroots initiatives.

The one-of-a-kind, multi-year partnership will allow both parties to deliver groundbreaking experiences for global football fans, with EA SPORTS FC securing title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions.

In addition, the deal will see a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.

This new partnership will encompass the first and second divisions of LaLiga (Spain’s top professional football competitions), LaLiga Promises (the league’s annual youth tournament) and eLaLiga.

“EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football. Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the centre of football culture,” David Jackson, VP Brand, EA Sports FC, said in a statement.

“The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives.

“EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences,” said Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga. “We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football.”

With this partnership, EA Sports and LaLiga will deepen their collaboration. Both LaLiga and EA Sports are committed to grassroots initiatives to grow the game which will include increasing accessibility, upgrading facilities, and many more initiatives to truly immerse fans into the world of football.

“This partnership with EA Sports is set to truly transform the way football is enjoyed around the world,” LaLiga Executive Director Óscar Mayo said via EA Sports.

“Moreover the alliance demonstrates LaLiga is a global brand, evidence of the success of our league to connect with fans internationally.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a worldwide leader in football fandom to better connect our fans to their favourite clubs, players, and LaLiga competitions,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA Sports FC. “The contributions from LaLiga to our EA Sports FC portfolio will be immense, not only from a visual aspect, but across technological and game development improvements, further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”

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