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FA to invest £260m in grassroots football

The FA has decided to invest a total of £260million at the base of the English game. Credit: PA

The Football Association will try to improve England's national team by pumping £260m into grassroots football over the next four years.

With the number of English players in the top flight decreasing, there is more need than ever to invest money at grassroots level to try to ensure the next generation of stars make it to the top.

The FA has, therefore decided to invest a total of £260million at the base of the English game from 2015-2019.

That is an increase of £60m on the previous four-year period, which came to an end this summer.

The FA hopes the investment will help it develop better players, coaches and improve training facilities.

The FA is particularly keen to encourage grass roots development of the women's game in light of England's success at the World Cup in Canada this summer, and disabled football too.

"I have spoken to a number of counties and leagues and they say they have been inundated with girls coming to them and saying they want to play football," said former England international Kelly Simmons, who is now the FA's Director for Participation and Development.

"That's really heartening. The interest has never been higher. We have to capture those inspirational moments and bring them into clubs."

Premier League, FA and government combine to invest in grassroots

Grassroots is being invested in. Credit: PA

The Premier League has combined with the Football Association and the Government to invest in grassroots facilities.

A day after the 20 top-flight clubs pledged to set aside at least £1billion of television money to the football pyramid outside of the top division from next year, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, FA chairman Greg Dyke and sports minister Helen Grant appeared at Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, south-west London.

A joint initiative to build more 3G pitches in 150 sport hubs across 30 cities over the next five years was announced.

Scudamore said: "The Government's initiative is brilliant news for the grassroots of the game and we will work with them as a committed partner to ensure that the scheme is implemented as rapidly as possible.

"The clubs, when meeting yesterday, identified grassroots facilities as one of their five key strategic priorities, with detailed funding commitments to be announced towards the end of the year."


Sol: Could have 'easily' captained England more times

Former England and Arsenal defender Sol Campbell told Daybreak he could have "easily" captained his country more than three times during his career.

The retired centre-back played 73 times for the Three Lions and said in his new biography he would have been skipper for "more than 10 years" if he had been white.

He also claimed the FA was "institutionally racist", an accusation that was strenuously denied by former England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce who said he did not believe skin colour would stop a player becoming captain.

The FA declined to comment on Campbell's comments.

Campbell told Daybreak: "Over the 10 years I could've easily captained more than three times, with the ability I had."

The retired footballer also said he wishes he could "help" his former team Arsenal, who have hit a spell of bad form in the league, and admitted that he keeps fit by doing spinning classes.

FA charge Nicolas Anelka over controversial gesture

The FA has said it has charged Nicolas Anelka over a controversial gesture during the West Ham United versus West Bromwich match in December.

The FA said it is alleged that, in the 40th minute of the fixture, Anelka made a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.

It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.

Anelka has until 6pm on 23 January 2014 to respond to the charge.

Read more on ITV Sport

Kick It Out launch app for fans to report abuse

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out have launched a new mobile app for fans and players to report racist or homophobic abuse.

The app allows people to report abuse directly and anonymously, as soon as it occurs.

The new app will work as a supplement to the current ways to report abuse: email and telephone. Credit: Kick It Out/ The FA

Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley said the app will work as a tool to help clubs take responsibility for abuse that happens on their grounds:

"This new tool will help clubs and the authorities target instances of discriminatory behaviour more consistently while maintaining healthy and vocal rivalries at games.

"Clubs need to show they are being much more inclusive and reaching out to fans to show they are embracing everyone, and taking the responsibility for educating everyone - players, supporters and employees.

"If an incident does happen then clubs need to take responsibility and not blame someone else".


England kit's striking resemblance to retro Germany top

The thick black collar and clean design of the newly-unveiled England football shirt has seen it quickly likened to the vintage West Germany strip from the 1970s.

England's 2013 strip bears several similarities to that worn by West Germany's Gerd Muller and his teammates in 1974. Credit: Twitter/@JackWilshere and Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport

Oxlade-Chamberlain 'loving' new England home kit

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said he was "loving" the new England kit after teammate Jack Wilshere unveiled it on Twitter.

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