EA Sports has announced plans to launch its FC Futures scheme, which will see the company invest £8million ($10million) in grassroots football projects across the world.
That £8million will be invested across a three-year span. Yesterday (April 11), EA unveiled the first recipient of the fund: the Rocky and Wrighty Arena at Turnham Academy, London.
Along with EA Sports, the arena was created alongside the Football Foundation, The FA and UK government; and was opened by former England player and Turnham Academy student Ian Wright.
Wright, who will serve as an ambassador to FC Futures along with English football manager Emma Hayes, shared that “investing in the game is a crucial step toward advancing global football”.
“Growing up in London, I was always looking for a way to get onto the pitch,” added Hayes. “I’m ecstatic that women and underrepresented talent are getting the resources many of us didn’t.”
Later this year, FC Futures will also build a free library of training practices for younger players and community coaches to access online.
The scheme also plans to create and refurbish pitches “distributed through foundations, federations and leagues,” and will pay for grassroots training equipment like bibs and “essential” gear.
Through a partnership with UEFA, EA will provide further investment and consultancy support for grassroots football.
Frank K. Ludolph, head of technical development at UEFA, said the organisation “will work hand-in-hand with our long-term partner, EA Sports, to enhance our support for the grassroots game”.
“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for UEFA’s Grassroots Programme to provide an innovative access to modern and customised training materials for the benefit of the next generation of grassroots players and fans,” Ludolph added.
However, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has claimed that despite EA’s exit, FIFA will remain “the best egame for any girl or boy“.