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American football and its opportunities to participate in the Olympics


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Lately we’ve heard a lot about flag football and Olympic sports together. As contactless football is included in the upcoming World Games, the conversation about the inclusion of football in the Olympics has revived, especially among fans of this sport. However, this is something that has been heard for several years, but not with good conclusions.

More than five years ago, the main springboard to achieve this goal was created. It was the arrival of the so-called Olympic Charter in 2013, i.e. the recognition of the IFAF (International Federation of American Football) and the candidates for its disciplines (gear, flag and beach). for some Olympics. The international federation has already met the requirements for this: to have men’s federations in at least 75 countries on four continents and women’s federations in 40 countries on three different continents. Conditions for the Summer Olympics.

IFAF division

Thus, in 2015, IFAF began introducing American football, a new regime for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Federations are sending candidates for inclusion in new Olympics, and new sports for the upcoming Games are decided by voting at the IOC meeting. But in those years there was a split in IFAF, which split in two, which destroyed everything that had been achieved with the IOC and little chance of being in Tokyo (those IFAF disputes removed the sport from the vote) or in Paris in 2024.. start again. In addition, the IOC has so far refused to include combat football. , due to the logistical problems associated with this practice. Which we’ll talk about later.

IFAF canceled the 2015 World Cup for financial reasons

  And he moved it to the United States, which led to the resignation of the then president of the federation, Tommy Waking. The New York group  스포츠중계 Norsemen as interim president in September 2014, followed by Richard McLean in 2015. But another Parisian group still recognizes Winking as president.

The federations broke up due to these conflicts and internal problems (corruption and anti-doping reporting scandals) and the famous IFAF New York and IFAF Paris were born. Which actually had two Flag Football Europeans at the same time, one in Las Rosas 2017 (IFAF Paris) and one in Copenhagen (IFAF New York). At least today, after the intervention of the TAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) itself, after about four years we have unified IFAF and dissenting legislation. You can read more about this topic here.

There has been talk of Olympic football in the last decade

All of these conflicts led the IOC to withdraw after seeing the rift and how the international image of American football was tarnished around the world. To reach the Olympics, one of the important prerequisites is that the international federation of the sport in question has world championships and qualifying tournaments as a pre-Olympic tournament. This should have been due for about six years before the games you want, so IFAF disputes have led to the exclusion of Tokyo and Paris. And the thing is, they didn’t even make the 2015 World Cup an Olympic qualifier. The whole picture the IOC took of the IFAF was not at all positive right when they started talking about Olympic football.

At least since the 2020 edition, the IOC has relaxed its rules for evaluating the calendar for each sport. And it will continue to do so before the Olympics (the period between the Olympics and others).

Game restrictions

As we see, this is a reality. American football is on the IOC list. But as mentioned before, equipment has many obstacles to being an Olympic sport. Below we give you a list of the disadvantages of football as such to come up with a few matches. Some of them are very similar to rugby.

The first is the staff. An American football team can have about 80 people,

 Among about 50 players plus technical staff or coaches. And some Olympics have a limit of 10,500 competitors.

Olympics last three weeks.

 This means football competition has to be extremely tight. Considering the physical demands of our sport, this greatly limits the ability to hold a big tournament with enough matches in so few days.

The required helmet and body armor equipment and related costs are another obstacle for many countries.

 In addition to taking on the burden of relocation and travel

Since 2012, the inclusion of new sports necessarily implies this in both men’s and women’s categories. In fact, in Paris 2024, the same number of male and female athletes will be reached for the first time in history. And although football still needs to be set up in many countries, it is unspeakable that women’s football does not need growth.


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