TV guide: World Cup with a difference

Farrah Francis picks five programmes to watch that focus on different aspects of the soccer World Cup.

1
The Road to World Cup
BBC Knowledge
Weeknights, 7pm

South Africa is host to the World Cup for four weeks. This documentary series looks at the history of the World Cup – from its birth in Uruguay in 1930 to present-day Africa where it is being staged for the first time. The series ­also focuses on how South Africa ­prepared for the event since being awarded the right to host the tournament in 2006.

2
One Game Changes ­Everything
ESPN Classic
Sunday, 6pm

While we may (thankfully) still be a few games away from the final of the World Cup, this in-depth ­documentary series looks at the tournament’s final matches through the years. It examines how this one final game between two soccer giants can change and ­uplift nations. (Bafana Bafana, I hope you are watching.)

3
Soweto Beach Party
Aljazeera
Monday, 8pm

GG Alcock is a white man who was brought up in a hut in KwaZulu-Natal. He is now the organiser of the Soweto Beach Party, an event that brings ­colour and festivity to the area, and is attended by 12?000 revellers. The show looks at the impact of the World Cup on the event, as well as economic developments ­currently taking place in Soweto.

4
The Screening Room
CNN
Wednesday, 9.30pm

This entertainment show takes a closer look at the representation of “the ­beautiful game” in cinema. Filmmakers Ken Loach (Looking for Eric) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) discuss their ingredients for making a ­realistic football film. There is also a ­behind-the-scenes look at those Write the ­Future Nike ads directed by ­Alejandro González (Babel).

5
World Cup Mega ­Structures

National Geographic
Sunday, 8pm

This documentary looks at how commuters are making use of one of South Africa’s major attractions, the brand-new Gautrain, during the World Cup. The ­programme also looks at the world-class stadiums that were built for the ­tournament, and how much thought and effort went into the ­mammoth project.


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