Orkney Ba’ to be featured on Football Mundial

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THE story of a long-standing sporting tradition in Orkney is to be beamed to millions of TV viewers around the world this week.

The island’s annual street football match, the famous New Year’s Day Ba’, will feature in the latest episode of the show Fifa Futbol Mundial.

The Orkney Ba' is to be featured in a documentary

The Orkney Ba' is to be featured in a documentary

A film crew from football’s world governing body’s official TV programme - which is broadcast to millions of viewers in more than 60 countries - travelled to the Scottish island over the festive period to report on the event.

Tourism body VisitScotland, which part-funded the trip, said it means stunning images of Orkney will be shown to millions of fans of the beautiful game.

Barbara Foulkes, VisitScotland’s island manager, said: “Orkney boasts breathtaking scenery, an amazing history and a fantastic range of things to see and do.

“The Ba’ is an amazing spectacle, albeit quite different to the kind of football you’re likely to see at the Nou Camp or San Siro!

“We were delighted to welcome the Fifa film crew here and we can’t wait to see the finished result.

“I’m sure that football fans around the world will be captivated by the scenes of Orkney and will be encouraged to come here and explore the island for themselves.”


The Ba’, which is also played on Christmas Day, has been a fixture on the Orkney calendar in its present form since the mid-19th century.

The game of mass football is played on the streets of Kirkwall between the “Uppies” and the “Doonies”.

This year’s match saw more than 300 people compete for the coveted title.

The programme is being broadcast around the world this week, with people in the UK able to catch the Orkney segment on Channel 4’s Trans World Sport on Saturday February 15.

As well as finding out about the Ba’, football fans watching the show will also be able to learn more about the neolithic settlement of Skara Brae and the island chapel built by Italian prisoners of war.

Tom Gulson, producer of Fifa Futbol Mundial, said: “We had a wonderful trip to Orkney and captured some truly amazing shots of the Ba’.

“The programme will show the island in all its splendour to a worldwide audience of millions and I would like to thank the people of Orkney for being so hospitable to our film crew.

“The island is truly stunning and full of character that captivated us throughout our trip.”