LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives said on Friday they planned to invest 550 million pounds in grassroots soccer as part of plans for a bid to host the 2030 World Cup if they win next week’s election.
The Conservatives are leading the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls before the Dec. 12 vote, but it is not clear whether they will be far enough ahead to secure a majority in parliament.
The party said that the investment was part of a 2 billion pound plan to ensure that by the time of the 2030 World Cup, every family in England would on average be 15 minutes from a local football pitch. The money will also be used to support growth in women’s football.
“If elected next week with a Conservative majority, I as Prime Minister will put my heart and soul behind the case for a UK and Ireland World Cup in 2030,” Johnson, who was mayor of London at the time of the 2012 Olympics, said in a statement.
“I want this tournament to be about more than just football. I want it to transform lives with a legacy to match the 2012 Olympics.”
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Toby Chopra)