After England’s amputee football side had its funding cut by the Football Association due to “sporadic league and player participation”, the team were faced with the daunting task of raising the £70,000 needed to participate in the 2018 World Cup.
The FA has invested more than £10m since 1999 to support elite disability squads and help achieve success at World Cups and European Championships
The England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) provides amputees and those with limb deficiencies and restrictions the opportunity to play football locally, nationally and internationally. When the EAFA agonisingly fell only £10,000 short of the target, the international side looked unlikely to compete in the Mexico finals. That was until the Premier League and club sponsors, Simple Business, donated the remaining funds.
Owen Coyle Jnr said of the donation:
“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.”
Since the funding cut in 2006, Owen has been in constant contact with the FA in a bid to secure funding for the current players and more importantly, for the players of the future. Owen is particularly keen to ensure there is a grassroots programme in place.
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.”