The Football Association has announced plans for a weekend of football celebrations starting Friday 6 June, with the nation being encouraged to get out and play football as excitement builds ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The weekend, which will be called Reds v Blues – marking the classic team colours used most often in the nation’s favourite game – aims to inspire people of all ages and abilities to sign up and represent a Red or Blue team before playing football in whatever form they wish.
This could range from kickabouts in gardens to organised 5-a-side and 11-a-side matches. Scores from all the games that take place will be combined to create an overall final score at the end of the day.
Former Arsenal, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers and England Under-21 footballer, Fabrice Muamba will be joined by former semi-professional player, TV presenter and Heart FM radio host, Mark Wright, as team captains for the Reds and Blues – leading the drive for others to get involved.
On Friday 6 June, The FA has teamed up with 5-a-side providers Power League, Play Football and Goals to set up Reds v Blues tournaments, with fantastic prizes at stake in each centre.
On Saturday 7 June, The FA is urging everyone who loves the game to hold their own Reds v Blues matches. It will be easy to pick a colour, pick up a ball and start to play.
The FA is also working with 50 County FAs to run activities on Saturday 7 June.
Flagship events include a beach football festival in Dorset FA – more than fitting against the backdrop of a World Cup in Brazil. Also taking place will be a disability football showcase at St. George’s Park, and an eleven-a-side event in Liverpool.
The FA will also give away 10,000 special red and blue footballs, and has partnered with Goals, Play Football and Power League football centres to offer special rates during the World Cup on selected dates.
Between 12 June and 13 July, The FA Mars Just Play will be offering one free kickabout to each adult at participating venues. To get involved, anyone over 16 can simply search online for Just Play enter their postcode, and book themselves into a local kickabout.
Coming exactly a week before England begin their FIFA World Cup campaign against Italy on 14 June, Reds v Blues Day will give people the perfect opportunity to get involved, just as the carnival of colour begins in Brazil and Cheshire FA Chief Executive Simon Gerrard believes it is a great idea.
"The World Cup grabs everybody’s attention across the country and what better time to encourage people to lace up their boots.
"Of course it’s all about enjoyment and getting into the World Cup spirit but you never know, a kick about on the park could spur people on to take football up permanently and the more people playing the beautiful game the better."
For more details visit TheFA.com/lovefootball