A path to Olympic gold has opened up for Canadian Football in 2028
MUMBAI/VANCOUVER/OTTAWA – Football Canada, in partnership with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the National Football League (NFL), and USA Football, is celebrating the historic decision made during today’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai, India. Flag football will now be included in the official program of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 2028.
Jim Mullin, President of Football Canada and IFAF General Secretary, expressed deep gratitude for the entire Canadian football community.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the IOC, the LA28 committee, IFAF, and our partners at the NFL for paving the way to international gridiron success,” Mullin said.
“With today’s LA ’28 announcement, we anticipate a surge in demand for participation in all aspects of gridiron football across Canada.”
The IOC’s decision follows thorough deliberations and recommendations from the IOC Executive Board, the IOC Olympic Program Commission, and the Los Angeles 2028 organizing committee, concluding a comprehensive two-year evaluation process.
This historic moment results from the “Vision 28” partnership, a ground-breaking collaboration between IFAF and the NFL, which places flag football at the forefront of their shared sports development objectives.
“Flag football as an Olympic sport will be transformative for our game, both in Canada and globally,” Mullin said. “Across our country, participants engage with our sport from a much younger age through flag football, creating a deeper talent pool for both flag and tackle games.”
Flag football, known for its quick, non-contact, and gender-inclusive format, is celebrated as the most accessible version of American football. It drives substantial growth in global participation in gridiron football, particularly among female athletes.
“The growth of flag football in Canada has enabled our organization to prioritize gender equity and female participation. We are committed to establishing the necessary support systems to promote growth in female coaching, officiating, and leadership for long-term sustainability and international success,” Mullin said.
An estimated 20 million individuals in over 100 countries actively participate in flag football. This number continues to rise alongside the surging international popularity of the NFL, which boasts a worldwide fan base of 340 million enthusiasts.
In the coming year, 65 national representative teams will compete in IFAF continental flag football competitions, building momentum towards the largest-ever IFAF World Flag Football Championships set to take place in Lahti, Finland, in August 2024. This event promises to be a spectacular showcase of talent and sportsmanship on the global stage.
Mullin concluded, “Canada has always been at the heart of our sport’s origins. Through the collaboration with stakeholders such as the CFL teams, U SPORTS, and NFL Canada, we believe we have the foundation to help lead the world into the next chapter of our sport.”
For more information Please contact:
Jim Mullin, President