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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 08:31 GMT
FA unveils 200m grassroots plan
Prince Williams trains with children at the FA's Hat-Trick project
The FA wants to get more young people playing football
The Football Association has announced plans to plough 200m into grassroots football in England under its new five-year National Game Strategy.

It wants more people playing the game, aims to enhance facilities, invest more money in skills and coaching as well as recruiting more referees.

"I think we'll see a transformed world of children's football," FA chairman Lord Triesman told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's with in our grasp - the amount of money invested is very significant."

FA director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking, was confident the scheme would be successful.

"It is a major investment, and thousands of people have given us their feedback," he said.

"We would be extremely disappointed if at the end of the five-year period you were not able to say there had been a significance difference between where we were and where we are."

The scheme also includes action to improve the behaviour of players on the pitch - as well as those on the sidelines - towards match officials.

606: DEBATE
GRECIAN-IN-BATH

The FA is concerned by the high numbers of referees dropping out every season because of abuse, as well as providing more support in recruiting and retaining referees.

"I've seen too many referees walk away," added Triesman. "Respect for decisions is absolutely critical and keeping people is critical."

The FA came up with the strategy after consulting 37,000 people involved in the game.

"We will aim to provide a high-quality coaching environment for every player - whatever their age or ability," said the FA in a statement on its website.

"There are some challenging targets in the strategy. We rely hugely on 400,000 volunteers to run the game at a local level and need to support them more."



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