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Rishi Sunak has vowed to try and bring a future women’s World Cup to the UK as he hailed the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory as “transformational” for sport.
The Tory leadership candidate said he would immediately launch the review of women’s football recommended in a fan-led review by MP Tracey Crouch if he becomes prime minister, in order to “grow the opportunities” of the women’s game.
Mr Sunak, who is seen as the underdog in the race for No 10, watched Sunday’s match in a pub in Salisbury, Wiltshire, with local Tory MP John Glen after meeting Conservative Party members on the campaign trail.
Huge congratulations to the @Lionesses on their Euros win.
They haven’t just won the tournament they’ve won the hearts of the whole country.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) July 31, 2022
The former chancellor, a father of two daughters, said: “These Euros have been transformational.
“In the long history of women’s football in this country, this game-changing squad has done more to smash through barriers than any other.
“I’m so proud that my two girls are growing up in a country where they can see terrific role models at the top of their game.
“We now need to ensure there is a tangible grassroots legacy for the young people who have been inspired by what they have seen tonight.”
He pledged to work with home nations Football Associations to explore a bid for a future World Cup “so those inspired by the Lionesses have even more to look forward to”.
He also promised to tighten guidance for primary schools on how to spend the PE and sports premium and strengthen scrutiny on the process, as well as ensure that Ofsted assesses school sport.