American football and its options to be in the Olympic Games


Lately we have heard a lot of the words of  Flag Football  and  Olympic sport  together. With the inclusion of non-contact  football  in  the upcoming World Games , talk of including  football  in an  Olympics  has reignited, especially among fans of the sport. However, it is something that has been heard for a few years, but not with good conclusions.

More than five years ago the main springboard was created to reach this end. That was the  arrival of the so-called Olympic Charter in 2013 , that is, the recognition of the  IOC  (International Olympic Committee) of the  IFAF  (International Federation American Football) and its disciplines ( tackle ,  flag  and  beach ) suitable to be candidates for some Games Olympics. The international federation already managed to meet the requirements for this: having a men’s federation in at least 75 countries on four continents and a women’s federation in 40 countries on three different continents. Requirements for a summer Olympics.

The IFAF Division

Thus, the IFAF in 2015 began to present American football to be a new Olympic modality for  Tokyo 2020 . And to incorporate new Olympic 해외축구중계, the federations present the candidatures and in a meeting of the IOC, the new sports for the following Games are decided by vote. However, in those years the  split of the IFAF occurred , divided into two, which spoiled everything achieved with the IOC and the few possibilities to be an Olympic in Tokyo (those IFAF controversies took the sport out of the vote) or in  Paris 2024 . And start again. In addition, to date the IOC has refused to include tackle football. , due to the logistical problems involved in its practice. Which we will talk about later.

For financial reasons, the IFAF canceled the 2015 World Cup

And moved it to the United States, causing the federation’s president at the time, Tommy Waking, to resign. The New York group elected Ropes Norsemen as interim president in September 2014 and then Richard MacLean in 2015. However, another group based in Paris would continue to recognize Winking in the presidency.

The federations were divided due to these conflicts and internal issues (corruption and anti-doping reporting scandals) and the well-known IFAF New York  and  IFAF Paris were born . Which in fact carried out two Flag Football Europeans at the same time, the one held in  Las Rozas 2017  (IFAF Paris) and in  Copenhagen  (IFAF New York). At least today, after the intervention of the  TAS  (Sports Arbitration Court) itself, we have a united IFAF after about four years and a legislature of discrepancies. You can read more about this topic here .

Olympic football began to be talked about in the last decade

All these controversies made the IOC withdraw, seeing disunity and how the international image of American football was disfigured worldwide. One of the essentials to enter the Olympic Games is that the International Federation of the sport in question has a World Championship and qualifying tournaments as a pre- Olympic tournament. This has to count about six years before the Games that you want to incur, so the IFAF controversies led to Tokyo and Paris being ruled out. And it is that they had not even organized the 2015 World Cup to be an Olympic qualifier. That entire image that the IOC of the IFAF took away was not at all positive just when they began to talk about Olympic football.

At least, since the 2020 edition, the IOC has relaxed its rules to evaluate the calendar of each sport. And it will do so from now on in advance of the Olympics  (period between the Olympic Games and others).

The limitations of the tackle

As we see, it is a reality. In the list of the IOC is American football. But as we have mentioned before, the tackle has many impediments to being an Olympic sport. Below we give you a list of drawbacks of football as such to get to some Games. Some of them are very similar to rugby.

The first is the staff. An American football team can be around 80 people ,

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

The Olympics are three weeks long ,

Which means the football competition has to be extremely condensed. Taking into account  the physical demands  that our sport entails, this greatly limits the ability to hold a large tournament with enough matches and in so few days.

The necessary equipment of helmet and armor and the expenses that they imply are another barrier for many countries.

 In addition to assuming a burden for displacement and travel

Since 2012,  the inclusion of new sports necessarily entails doing so in both the male and female categories . In fact, in Paris 2024, the same number of male and female athletes will be reached for the first time in history. And if  football  still needs to establish itself in many countries, it goes without saying the lack of growth that women’s football needs around the world. Likewise, there have only been three World Cups  and there have only been two  European Championships . The last one with only four participating teams .

Global and real monitoring of the sport . It is true that  football  plays in another league in the United States, being numerically one of the sports with the most audiences in the world. But the rest of the countries are very far away. Although yes, little by little  Canada ,  Mexico ,  Japan  or  Germany are approaching their level .

Concussions are still a reality  and more and more cases show that they leave sequels over the years. In addition, there are many schoolchildren who are reducing the practice of  tackle  among children, since they are still in a period of formation of their bodies


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