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Sport funding: Football faces funding cut after participation fall

Football and tennis have been warned that their funding is at risk after both saw a decline in participation in England.

Sport England, who distribute Lottery money to support grass-roots sport, believe tennis failed to capitalise on Andy Murray's success in winning Wimbledon. Football has fallen behind swimming, athletics/running and cycling.

There was an increase in people playing sport once a week – a rise of 206,000 since April, which means the boost provided by London 2012 has been maintained. But Sport England will hold meetings with the Football Association and Lawn Tennis Association and make a decision in January about whether to suspend up to 20 per cent of funding.

Football's numbers fell 100,000 since April and tennis, which suffered a cut in funding earlier this year, saw participation fall from 423,400 to 406,000 in six months.

Sport England's chief executive Jenni Price said: "We are very disappointed by football's results and the FA really need to grasp this." An alarming fall in young people playing sport was mostly due to the decline in football and netball.