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Vicki Sparks Becomes First Female TV Commentator For World Cup

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The BBC’s Vicki Sparks has become the first woman to commentate live for a televised World Cup football match in the UK. Vicki has been commentating since 2014 and has voiced the BBC One’s coverage of Portugal v Morocco in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday. The reporter sat alongside Martin Keown in the commentary box for the match.

She only waited four minutes to describe a goal as Cristiano Ronaldo headed Portugal into an early lead. ‘Wouldn’t you just know it,’ she exclaimed as Ronaldo celebrated his fourth goal of the tournament.

Significant Moment

Vicki has been hailed as a “history maker” by Women in Football. The organisation promotes female representation in the sport. The BBC and ITV (a popular commercial channel in the UK) have both increased the number of women in their coverage of this year’s World Cup. While she is the first female to commentate during a live match in the tournament, there are a host of other women working in various roles for the BBC and ITV, including former England Internationals Eniola Aluko and Alex Scott.

Sparks was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. She got her break back in 2014 at a BBC recruitment drive for new voices in football commentary to cover the FA Women’s Super League. She was broadcast assistant at Radio Newcastle at the time; and has since worked on BBC Five Live, Final Score and Match of the Day. Vicki also covered the highlights for Iran’s victory over Morocco last week.

“I’ve always wanted to try and get into commentary so thought I’d go for it and see what happened,” she told the BBC’s in-house magazine, Ariel.

She also made headlines last year when then-Sunderland manager David Moyes apologized to her for making inappropriate comments. David Moyes later apologised and was fined £30,000 for the comment by the FA.

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Apoorva Lamba is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv