SBS football analyst Craig Foster to depart

SBS’ chief football analyst Craig Foster will depart from his permanent role at the end of July to pursue other challenges.

He will, however, still be involved in marquee football events on the network, which is the exclusive rights holder of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Foster with Zelić

Foster has been with the network for 18 years.

Foster said he will “never be too far away”, and his next opportunity will still be connected to football.

“SBS provided not just an opportunity, but a mission back in 2002 and I instantly knew that we were aligned in our values, love of football and vision for the game,” Foster said.

“But the organisational spirit of inclusion, acceptance of diversity and promotion of Australia’s multicultural heart struck me most deeply. We brought this to life through football, but the mission was always to create a better Australia and world.

“My own challenges lie in this field and I will miss the people, above all, though I will never be too far away. I will always be deeply proud of having called SBS home for so long and look forward to walking down memory lane and thanking everyone personally over the next month.”

Foster posted a slideshow of photos to Twitter “for our SBS staff, and our viewers”.

“18 years of incredible friendships, above all, with people who share a commitment to multiculturalism, diversity and the transformative power of football,” he wrote.

SBS managing director James Taylor said Foster’s experience as a professional football player put him in good stead to become one of the country’s best commentators.

“Craig is one of the finest football analysts and commentators, and has made a significant contribution to SBS over almost two decades,” Taylor said.

“He embodies the personal and professional qualities that SBS espouses and we will watch with interest as he continues to break new ground, both as a former professional athlete and a strong advocate for social inclusion. While he will be missed as a regular in the studio, and by all that have worked with him, we look forward to working with Craig down the track.”

This Friday morning, Foster and Lucy Zelić’s broadcast of FIFA’s decision on hosting rights for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will act as farewell for Foster. Zelić said her “beloved friend” may be departing “for a greater purpose”, but he’ll always be welcomed back to SBS.

“There will never, ever be another Craig Foster and SBS, together with the Australian football community, have been immeasurably fortunate to have a man of his talents, credibility and professionalism dedicated to the cause,” the SBS Sport presenter said.

“I always knew the day would come when Craig would be called upon for a greater purpose and I have no doubt in my mind that my beloved friend will continue to shine and inspire us all on his journey. He will always have a seat beside me at SBS, ready and waiting.”

The network’s director of sport, Ken Shipp, added that Foster’s “list of achievements is vast”.

“From his famous, passionate commentary on the Socceroos’ 2005 World Cup Qualifier, developing a primary school football game for Harmony Day, winning three Logies as part of our amazing SBS World Game team, to championing the game of football in a way of which few are capable, Craig walked in the shoes of former great football advocates, Johnny Warren and Les Murray, and carried a proud legacy for two decades,” he said.

“I will enjoy watching him continue to rise. The door remains always open to work together again and I know there is nothing that he cannot achieve. Craig will always be part of the SBS family.”


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