North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has challenged George Osborne to invest £3m in grassroots football in the region to match that just given to China.
“This region has produced some great footballers and will do so again in future I’m sure but money needs to be spent at grassroots level to help that along.
“China is the second largest economy in the world and can doubtless find it’s own cash to train football coaches instead of us handing it to them,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.
“Local teams suffer because of cuts in local authority and government spending and everyone is trying to make the best of a bad job. This is a massive slap in the face for them.
“It also comes at a time when the country has a massive obesity problem and children need to be encouraged into sport.
“If the government can find this cash for China they can find it to help keen young British footballers and coaches,” he said.