More funding for women's football promised in Tories' pledge to invest £550m at grassroots level

Nicky Morgan claims Conservatives will 'bring football home' (PA Images)
Nicky Morgan claims Conservatives will 'bring football home' (PA Images)
12:34pm, Sat 07 Dec 2019
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

The Conservatives are pledging to invest £550m in grassroots football as part of plans to back a UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

And a much-needed boost for the women's game is part of the package.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the investment would "transform lives with a legacy to match the 2012 Olympics". It would also boost existing plans for amateur football in England.

The Football Foundation partnership between government, the Football Association (FA) and the Premier League is promising to improve 20,000 grass pitches in England or build new Astroturf versions.

The new Tory pledge would see the government's current grassroots football funding commitment to the project rise from £180m to £730m over the next 10 years.

It is unclear where the additional government cash would come from, but private partners are expected to fund the remainder of the investment, which would now amount to £2bn in total.

The FA has said that only one-in-three English community pitches are of adequate quality, with one-in-six amateur matches called off due to poor pitch conditions.

The Conservatives said every funding bid would be assessed against several factors, including whether it provides equal playing opportunities for females.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nicky Morgan appealed to voters ahead of this week's election to help 'Bring football home.'

Taking to twitter, she made four promises which expanded on claims she made in September regarding the coverage of women's sport.

Then, she said it was her mission to add women's sport to the "crown jewels" list of events on free-to-air television. 

In her tweet she promised a Conservative government would:

Back a UK and Ireland World Cup 2030 bid

Support the growth in women's and disability football

Make a £550 million investment in grassroots football

Provide thousands more community pitches

Users on Twitter have responded, calling out the MP for a 'desperate' appeal and making jokes at her expense.

And Labour said the funding would not make up for "years of brutal cuts" to sporting facilities.

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