The BBC has announced it will allow football fans to watch live World Cup matches on Apple iPhones.

The free BBC Sport app, which supports the service, will be made available in May.

As well as allowing users to watch live matches when they are being broadcast on the BBC, the app will also offer the chance to view clips on every goal score during the tournament on-demand.

iPhone users will be able to watch World Cup games live on their handsets with the BBC Sport app

The BBC said it is working on a version of the app, which will be updated throughout the year to cover other sporting events including Formula One, for BlackBerry and Android-based handsets. 

"As media converges and technology accelerates, licence fee payers are increasingly using sophisticated handheld devices to access information. They tell us that they want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them," said BBC director of future media & technology Erik Huggers.

"The same content that we broadcast on television and make available online can now be better enjoyed on the move. We are putting technology to work to create greater public value."

The BBC is also releasing a news app that offers live and on-demand audio and video content covering the latest news for iPhones and iPod touches in April, with a version for BlackBerry and Android to follow later in the year.

The corporation said it was planning to develop more apps for its popular on-demand video BBC iPlayer later in the year.

But Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) said that the corporation would "damage the nascent market" for apps.