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TSN and CTV won’t be sticking to soccer for their upcoming coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

The Canadian men’s team, which is making its return to the tournament for the first time in 36 years, will naturally be the prime attraction in a broadcast schedule with more than 200 hours of live coverage.

The domestic rightsholder will also be covering off-the-field stories closely during the 29-day competition.

“We are going to be telling stories however they develop in Qatar,” said Stewart Johnston, senior vice-president of Bell Media’s sales and sports. “Of course we are primarily focused on the tournament itself, the games, the results, the stories of the players, the amazing play, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

“But at the same time, we’re going to use our platforms to amplify important discussions focused on any significant news stories around the tournament and those includes stories around human rights.”

FIFA’s top officials recently urged the 32 teams to focus on the game in Qatar and avoid handing out lessons in morality.

A letter urging teams to “let football take centre stage” was sent by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and secretary general Fatma Samoura, asking participating soccer federations to “not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”

Qatar being picked in 2010 as World Cup host sparked scrutiny on its treatment of low-paid migrant workers needed to build projects costing tens of billions of dollars and its laws criminalizing same-sex relationships.

“We have, beyond a full sports production team and sports news production team on the ground, we also have a strong contingent of CTV News folks on the ground in Doha reporting,” Johnston told The Canadian Press.

“They are on site and their reports are going to air as part of TSN’s pre-game coverage and we’ll also have additional coverage across CTV News broadcasts and on, so it will be well-rounded coverage from Qatar.”

The host country plays Ecuador in Sunday’s tournament opener on CTV and TSN1 and 4. Canada opens its campaign in Group F on Wednesday against Belgium on CTV and TSN.

“We think that this tournament and this Canadian team has already captured the imagination of Canadians from coast to coast,” Johnston said. “There’s going to be a thirst for content and storytelling from Doha in and around this team and of course the entire tournament with amazing stories to be told.”

A three-hour pre-game show will air on CTV and TSN before Canadian matches, as well as on the networks’ websites and apps.

All Canada games will air on CTV/TSN. Other games will air on either CTV or one of the TSN channels (full broadcast schedule is on

A 30-minute primetime recap show will air each matchday on TSN. Full French-language coverage of the tournament is available on RDS.

The final is scheduled for Dec. 18.