Ian Darke on ESPN FC in May 2022.

Fox Sports continues to add to their roster of play-by-play announcers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this fall. Last month saw them announce the addition of Jacqui Oatley, and confirm that John Strong would return as their lead play-by-play voice. They’ve now named a third play-by-play voice for the event, and it’s one that will be very familiar to many American fans, but not as a Fox broadcaster. That would be Ian Darke.

Darke first called World Cup matches in the U.S. in 1994, working for ABC and ESPN that year. He joined ESPN on a more regular basis beginning with the 2010 World Cup, signing a three-year deal after that tournament to call Premier League matches. He then expanded his role there, calling the 2011 Women’s World Cup, MLS matches, European Championship matches, and Confederations Cup matches, and serving as their lead commentator for the 2014 World Cup.

Darke has continued to serve as ESPN’s lead soccer announcer since then, signing a 2016 deal to continue in that role through 2020. Amongst other things at ESPN, he called the 2016 and 2021 Euros, and joined their La Liga coverage when they got those rights last year. He’s been regularly featured on their ESPN FC studio show as well, as seen in the still above from a May 2022 segment. He’s also been working for the UK’s BT Sport and the Premier League world feed, and he called world feed games at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He’s certainly a prominent and notable announcer, with a broadcasting history dating back more than 40 years. And he’s a big addition for Fox’s 2022 Qatar coverage, as they discuss in their release:

David Neal, Executive Producer of FIFA World Cup™ on FOX and Vice President of Production for FOX Sports, expressed enthusiasm on Darke teaming up to elevate the network’s broadcast team for the tournament.

“Our worldwide search for potential FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ announcers yielded so many talented candidates, but when we saw we had the opportunity to have Ian bring his legendary voice and perspective to FOX Sports, it was a quick call and one we were thrilled to make,” said Neal. “We’re happy to have Ian joining us in Qatar and look forward to hearing his commentary when the competition kicks off on Monday, November 21.”

Further additions to Fox’s 2022 World Cup broadcasting team are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

[Fox Sports Press Pass; image from ESPN UK on YouTube]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.