Ryan Giggs

Munya Vomo

It SEEMS as if it was only yesterday that one of the biggest showcases in sport, the 2010 World Cup, was held here. Having learnt a lot from that experience, SuperSport has rolled out its plan of action for next month’s tournament in Brazil.

The idea is to take you as close as possible to the game since not all of us can make it to Rio. With that in mind, Supersport have assembled an impressive array of experts, who include former soccer stars and commentators.

Speaking at a huge samba- themed event in Durban yesterday, one of SuperSport’s finest, Robert Marawa, made the biggest announcement of the night as far as the addition of the line-up of the commentators was concerned.

“We have acquired one of the most seasoned players to come out of the English Premier League.

“Upon his recent announcement that he will be retiring from active football, we have managed to secure the invaluable services of the great Ryan Giggs,” said Marawa.

Based on his contribution to Manchester United for many years, there is talk that the club will retire his jersey in his honour. Although he leaves at a time when the great United are in a transitional period, Giggs must be excited about his future at SuperSport as a match analyst.

At SuperSport, Giggs will join an panel of football gurus who include former World Cup winner Marcel Desailly, Liverpool and England legend John Barnes and Spanish star, Gaizka Mendieta.

They will be joined by an additional team of African commentators who include former soccer legends Sammy Kuffour, Jay Jay Okocha, Shaun Bartlett, Andre Arendse, Sunday Oliseh, Neil Tovey, Ernst Middendorp, Ruud Krol, Stuart Baxter, Gavin Hunt and Doctor Khumalo.

To cater for the Portuguese- speaking audience, SuperSport has The Maximo, which will have former Angolan coach Gonçalves, Bernardino Pedroto, who won five national championships, and former international player José Luís Vidigal on the line-up.

In addition to that, SuperSport is looking at offering two 24-hour channels to viewers for the duration of the tournament. One will be in high-definition (SS3HD), while the other will be in standard definition (SS3).

There will be four language options available: English, Portuguese, Sotho and Zulu.

To the average football addict, it is worth knowing that each and every match will be broadcast live from the group stages through to the final.

In cases where there are matches that run concurrently, as in the last-round round-robin stages, SS4HD and SS4 will feature these fixtures.

Said Alvin Naicker, the head of production for SuperSport: “With the explosion of media, fans demand more than ever. We intend giving them exactly that.

“We have the big names to match our big broadcast. Coverage will be wall-to-wall using the latest technology.

“As big-event broadcasts go, this World Cup will be the most advanced in the history of SuperSport.”

Speaking of the advancements SuperSport introduces, for the first time, the World of Champions’ presentation will include aug-mented reality, using the latest technology. With the use of high-end graphics, SuperSport plans to take viewers into 3D representa-tions of all the stadiums, giving the gurus room to analyse the game as if they were actually at the match.

The sports broadcaster will also be represented by several people in Brazil and these will include Marawa, Carol Tshabalala, Phumlani Msibi, Oliseh, Townsend and Colin Udoh.