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Football: Females

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 10th February 2020.

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Photo of Julie Elliott Julie Elliott Labour, Sunderland Central

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to allocate funding from the public purse to the development of women's football.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State

We are determined to encourage more women and girls to get active, something we set out in our sport strategy, Sporting Future. Football is a popular choice for women and girls to get active: it is the second most popular team sport in terms of participation for adult women, and the top ranked team sport in terms of participation for girls. It is also growing in appeal for spectators with a record total audience of 28.1 million tuning in to watch the BBC coverage of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Through our national sports council, Sport England, the government is investing £24.6m in The Football Association over the course of 2016-21 for its work on grassroots participation, the football talent pathway, and coaching programmes. Within this, there is no specific ring-fencing of funding between men's and women's programmes, apart from £2.6m which is specifically reserved for women and girls talent programmes.

Sport England has also awarded The FA £544,500 to date to deliver The FA FIVES national promotion programme, a mass participation five a side football competition linked to EURO 2020. Its aim is to provide opportunities throughout England for men and women to take part in a fun, friendly football event.

Separately, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport invested £18m in football facilities through the Football Foundation in each of 2017, 2018 and 2019. It is not possible to separate out the investment amounts by gender.

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