George Osborne criticised for handing £3m of taxpayers’ money to China football programmes
The UK Treasury is giving a £3m funding boost to grassroots football in China.
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As part of his week-long tour of China chancellor George Osborne revealed the government was backing a "revolutionary" programme run by the British Council and the Premier League to provide training for over 5,000 new football coaches in the country.
Osborne said during a speech at the Soong Ching Ling Football School in Urumqi:
Grassroots football plays an instrumental role in UK life, and it is brilliant to be able to spread that to China. This fantastic scheme which will bring new opportunities to young people across China will also help bring increased awareness and investment into the UK football sector.The deal we’ve been able to do here is just one example of the ways we can work together with China to benefit both our nations – and I look forward to seeing the results.
Labour's shadow sports minister Clive Efford criticised the decision to spend taxpayers' money on China's football development.
He said: "George Osbourne's time would be far better spent getting the Premier League to pay the money it should be putting into grassroots sport in England, rather than spending taxpayers' money on training footballers in one of the world's richest countries."