The Arabic version of FIFA.com has been officially launched today, becoming the fifth language of FIFA's Official Website, alongside English, French, German and Spanish. The Arabic version of FIFA.com is presented by ART (Arab Radio & Television), one of FIFA's long-term Broadcast Partners.
The move to include Arabic reflects the fact that it is not only the fastest-growing language on the internet (seeing a rise of 2,063.7 per cent between 2000 and 2008), but also that three FIFA competitions are taking part in the Arabic-speaking world during the course of the next six months.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup (Egypt), the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup (both in the United Arab Emirates) are all keenly anticipated events in the football calendar and, with Egypt and Iraq qualifying for the forthcoming edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the desire for football information among the globe's 350 million Arabic speakers is set to be significant.
"With the aim of "touching the world", FIFA takes world-class football action to every corner of the planet and our broad range of competitions shows the many faces of football. I am delighted that we have emphasised this aim by adding another language to our website and providing a service for the Arabic-speaking world," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. "People in this part of the world are passionate about football and we are very much looking forward to the tournaments in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates this year. I am confident that the Arabic channel of FIFA.com will prove to be extremely popular."
CEO of ART, Eng. Abed Alaziz Yamani, said: "ART are proud to be associated with the Arabic website on FIFA.com. It deepens our close relationship with FIFA and is recognition of football's importance to our region. I'm sure it will be a huge success."
The new version offers a full service for its users, with all of FIFA.com's current features translated into Arabic. As well as reading the latest news, interviews and features on the site, people can also sign-up to the FIFA.com Club, a service which allows football fans from all over the world to communicate with each other, play games and also comment on the website's articles.
There will also be exclusive content from FIFA.com's Arabic editors, as well as news feeds which will ensure that the website offers comprehensive coverage of local and world football, 365 days a year.
About ART: The Arab Radio and Television (ART) network is the leading producer of premium Arabic and international sport, family programming and entertainment worldwide. ART has a key role to source, produce, and collate sport and entertainment solutions for the AMC groups, (Arab Media Corporation) which is arguably the largest single Arab media holding company in the world. ART produces over 6,000 live and recorded shows every year including sports programmes, family oriented dramas, series, plays, music videos, and documentaries.