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Tories pledge £550m grassroots football funding boost

By Tom Walker    10 Dec 2019
The funding would be made available as part of legacy plans from hosting the 2030 World Cup / Shutterstock
This funding will transform lives with a legacy to match the 2012 Olympics
– Boris Johnson

The Conservative Party has promised to invest £550m in grassroots football – if it wins the general election.

The funding is part of a larger strategy to win the bid to hosting the 2030 World Cup.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the investment would "transform lives with a legacy to match the 2012 Olympics".

"A Conservative Majority Government will put a £550m investment in grassroots football at the centre of its plans to back a UK and Ireland World Cup 2030 bid," Johnson said.

"The new investment, the biggest ever government boost for grassroots football, will underline the Conservatives’ support for the bid and demonstrate its vision for the tournament as a catalyst that will unleash the power of the game at a community level."

According to the plans – which would mark a four-fold increase in investment and is part of a £2bn plan to "transform grassroots football" – by the time of the 2030 World Cup, every family in England will be, on average, 15 minutes from a well-maintained local football pitch.

"The plan will turbocharge the current 25-year programme to deliver 2,000 new astroturf pitches and fix 20,000 grass pitches in a decade," Johnson added.

The move comes in response to an audit of playing facilities that has found that only one in three grassroots football pitches in England are currently of adequate quality – an issue that led to the cancellation of 150,000 matches across the country last season.

“This great country is the home of football," Johnson said.

"Over the last year and a half our men’s and women’s teams have done us proud of as a country and our years of hurt are surely coming to an end.

“If elected next week with a Conservative majority, I as Prime Minister will put my heart and soul behind the case for a UK and Ireland World Cup in 2030. I want this tournament to be about more than just football."

Conservative Party  general election  Boris Johnson  Prime Minister 
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