Vicki Sparks: First female commentator for live World Cup match

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Vicki Sparks: First female commentator for live World Cup match
The BBC's Vicki Sparks has been a commentator since 2014
The BBC’s Vicki Sparks has been a commentator since 2014

(BBC) – The BBC’s Vicki Sparks has become the first woman to commentate live on a World Cup match in the UK.

The broadcaster voiced BBC One’s coverage of Portugal v Morocco in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

Women in Football – an organisation which promotes female representation in the sport – hailed her as a “history maker”.

The BBC and ITV have both increased the number of women in their coverage of this year’s World Cup.

Jacqui Oatley, who was the first female commentator on Match of the Day, is presenting for ITV, while England and Juventus player Eniola Aluko is a studio pundit.

The BBC is also using Gabby Logan as a reporter, with Alex Scott from Arsenal in the studio.

Ms Sparks got her break in 2014 after a BBC recruitment drive for new voices in football commentary to cover the FA Women’s Super League.

A broadcast assistant at Radio Newcastle at the time, she has since worked on BBC Five Live, Final Score and Match of the Day.

“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 hit the headlines last year when then-Sunderland manager David Moyes apologised and was fined £30,000 for making an inappropriate joke to her after an interview.

Mr Moyes said: “It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman.”

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