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Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living

England amputees thank Premier League for World Cup funding after FA snub

Date: 17/10/2018
Summary: The head coach of England’s amputee football side has thanked sponsors and the Premier League for donations that will enable the team to travel to Turkey later this month to compete in the 2018 World Cup.

Having seen its funding cut by the Football Association in 2006 after the governing body cited “sporadic league participation and low levels of player participation”, England’s players have been forced to raise the £70,000 required to take part in the sport’s showpiece event themselves despite reaching the final of the European Championship last year. With less than two weeks before they were due to leave, however, they faced a shortfall of £10,000 and the real prospect of missing out on the tournament.

An online campaign named SweetFA called for the governing body to reverse their decision and come up with immediate funding to allow them to travel to the tournament – which starts on 27 October – describing Owen Coyle Jr’s side as “England’s forgotten football team”. But while the FA has since indicated that it intends to provide support for the team in the future and will work with the England Amputee Football Association to achieve this, their manager is just grateful his players will get the chance to compete at the highest level of the sport.

“We’re delighted – the Premier League got in touch and our sponsors Simply Business have also been very generous in helping us to reach the target,” he said.

“We speak to the FA quite regularly – we’ve asked about funding every time we see them since 2006. But hopefully this will mean that future generations of players will also get the chance to play at World Cups.”

A statement from the FA added: “The FA has invested more than £10m since 1999 to support elite disability squads and help achieve success at World Cups and European Championships.

“There exists a robust and transparent selection process against this significant investment to ensure informed decisions are made by The FA as to which specific disabilities can best deliver the development of a consistent talent pathway and greater participation at grassroots.

“Amputee football now meets the criteria and we will be furthering our work with this disability group at the elite end as we do with the grassroots.”

Source: The Guardian

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