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UK government to back London-based NFL franchise

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Chancellor George Osborne has said the UK government would support plans for a London-based National Football League (NFL) team.

Speaking to the Evening Standard Osbourne said that the government would do "anything it can" to help create a UK-based team.

It is believed that Osbourne held high-level talks with NFL officials this week over the possibility of a London-based franchise.

American football has increased its popularity in the UK in recent years - driven by Sky Sports’ TV coverage and the annual regular season games held at Wembley stadium in London.

Between 2007 and 2012, the capital hosted a single NFL game each October – but after ticket sales exceeded expectations, a decision was made to increase the number of games to two for 2013.

Following further sell-outs last year, the NFL further increased the number of games to three this year.

One of the teams to have played twice at Wembley since 2007 – the Jacksonville Jaguars – is owned by Shahid Khan, who also owns London-based English Championship club Fulham Football Club.

It has been suggested that the Jaguars would be the most likely franchise to uproot and relocate across the Atlantic if the NFL decides against setting up an entirely new team to enter the league. There are currently 32 teams in the NFL, divided into eight divisions of four.

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Chancellor George Osborne has said the UK government would support plans for a London-based National Football League (NFL) team.
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