Muamba launches FA campaign

06 May 2014 01:02

Fabrice Muamba is fronting a new Football Association campaign to encourage more people to pull on their football boots ahead of this summer's World Cup.

Sport England announced in March that it was cutting its funding to the FA for grassroots football because of a failure to address declining numbers.

The current campaign is calling for people to sign up to represent a red team or a blue team and play football on June 7.

Former Arsenal, Birmingham and Bolton midfielder Muamba is captaining the red team with TV star Mark Wright the blue team captain.

Muamba, who was forced to retire in 2012 following his cardiac arrest, said: " It's a good opportunity to encourage more people to go out and play football more often.

"The numbers have really dropped, and not just in Britain but all over the world. We're not encouraging enough people to get out there.

"Technology is a big issue. People prefer to be inside playing on their Playstations and they don't want to do anything active.

"You don't see kids playing football on the street any more and hopefully this campaign will encourage people of all groups to get involved."

Roy Hodgson names his England squad for Brazil on Monday and Muamba hopes both excitement surrounding the World Cup and the climax of a thrilling Premier League campaign can contribute to an increase in numbers.

The 26-year-old said: "Hopefully this exciting Premier League season will have inspired people and a World Cup is always good to get people playing."

The destination of the Premier League trophy took another twist on Monday night when Liverpool blew a three-goal lead against Crystal Palace to draw 3-3.

That left Manchester City one point behind with a game in hand, meaning victories from their home games against Aston Villa and West Ham will see them claim a second title in three seasons.

Muamba believes there could still be a final twist, though, particularly after City snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against QPR in a dramatic finish to the 2011/12 season.

He said: "Y ou never know what's going to happen. Manchester City know that better than anyone after 2012.

"They've got games in hand but they need to win them, starting against Aston Villa tomorrow.

"No one expected Liverpool to be challenging for the title. If they win the league they will have deserved it but if they don't then Brendan Rodgers will be working hard to make sure they come back stronger."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 14:57