The International Federation of American Football was formed in 1998 by founding nations Australia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Sweden and Spain. By 2010 IFAF membershiphas increased to a total of 59 countries governed by four continental federations.
American Football has been played internationally since the late 1800s in countries such as Canada and the United States and can trace its roots in Japan back to the 1930s. The game gained popularity in Europe in the 1970s and gathered pace in the 1980s when sports enthusiasts were gripped by a surge in interest in both watching football on television and participating on the gridiron.
Participation in competitions and tournaments are a cornerstone of IFAF objectives and the inaugural IFAF Senior World Championship kicked off in Palermo, Italy, in 1999. Japan became the sport’s first true world champion by defeating Mexico 6-0 in overtime in the championship game. Japan retained its title four years later in 2003 in Frankfurt, Germany, when Mexico was again defeated 34-14 in the gold medal game. In 2007 the United States entered a nationally selected team for the first time and triumphed in Tokyo, Japan, denying the host nation a third successive title by a score of 23-20 in overtime. A record number of 21 countries had entered the qualification process in 2007, leading to six nations competing in Japan. The 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship will be played in Austria between eight qualified nations.
In 2009 the IFAF Junior World Championship was established when eight teams of players aged 19 and under converged on Canton, Ohio for an event played at Fawcett Stadium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Host United States became the inaugural champion, defeating Canada in the Gold Medal Game, while Japan defeated Mexico to win the Bronze Medal. Four continents were represented in total with Germany, Sweden, France and New Zealand finishing fifth through eighth. The second IFAF JWC will be played in 2012 and contested every two years thereafter.
In 2010 the IFAF Women’s World Championship was established when the United States’ females triumphed over Canada to win the inaugural Gold Medal. Finland took bronze, defeating Germany, while host Sweden claimed fifth place over Austria in the six-team tournament held in Stockholm.
The fourth IFAF Senior Flag Football World Championship was held in Canada in 2008, following tournaments played in Austria (2002), France (2004) and Korea (2006). IFAF has also endorsed member participation in events such as the NFL Global Junior Championship (1997-2007) and the NFL Flag Football World Championship (2000-2007).
The IFAF mission remains to strengthen the quality of American Football in emerging federations and spread interest in the sport in those countries where a domestic structure does not yet exist. IFAF is focused on establishing an African continental federation, increasing female participation in all areas of the sport both on and off the field, and ensuring its members are WADA compliant. IFAF is a full member of SportAccord and a key goal is earning recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
IFAF is supported and endorsed by the NFL Youth Football Fund and the NFL Players Association.
|IFAF Board of Directors:|
|President: Roope Noronen (Finland)|
|Vice President: Makato Keneuji (Japan)|
|Treasurer: Scott Hallenbeck (USA)|
|Secretary: Elesa Zehndorfer (Great Britain)|
|IFAF Executive Board:|
|IFAF Africa: Ahmed Ben El Cadi (Morocco)|
|IFAF America: Richard MacLean (Canada)|
|IFAF Asia: KK Park (Korea)|
|IFAF Europe: Goran Nisavic (Serbia)|
|IFAF Oceania: Michael Ryan (Australia)|
|Board member: Marc-Angelo Soumah (France)|
|Board member: Jorge Orobio Rosas (Mexico)|
|Athlete representative: Kasper Linden (Denmark)|
|Athlete representative: Veronica Salas (Panama)|
|Managing director: Andy Fuller|
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