World Games In Poland To Feature American Football
American football will be one of four invitational sports in the 2017 World Games which will take place in Wrocław, Poland, July 20-30 this year.
In addition to American football the International World Games Association (IWGA) has also approved speedway, kickboxing and indoor rowing for the 2017 World Games.
Tommy Wiking, the president of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF.info/IFAF Paris), had this to say:
“We are honored by the decision of IWGA. It is another great news for our discipline. The presence of IFAF is a great thing for us because it is very important to promote American football on such a big event like World Games, with a lot of athletes and sports, and to promote our organization, of course. Polish League of American Football has been establishing the highest standards of organizing football events in Europe. I am convinced that the tournament in Wrocław will bring enormous success and we thank to the City of Wroclaw for their big support.“
Jedrzej Steszewski, President of the Polish American Football Association.
“We are very happy that a major American football tournament will be held in Poland in 2017. The World Games 2017 in Wrocław are an unique opportunity that allowed unprecedented development of our senior National Team. Thanks to significant support of Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism our athletes are able to prepare to the World Games at Olympic facilities. Moreover we were able to provide the National Team with splendid coaching staff that is involved in Polish coaches’ development too. Forthcoming tournament in Wrocław is a great challenge for us. We are going to compete with some of the best teams in the World. Our National Team is one of the very youngest in Europe – we established it only in 2013. Nonetheless we are very optimistic and we are looking forward to a superb tournament – on-and-off the field.”
The American football tournament will feature four nations: Poland, Germany, France and the USA. It has not been confirmed which team will represent the United States however.
The last time American football was included as an invitational sport was in 2005 when Duisburg, Germany hosted the World Games.
Invited sports are not included in the official program of the Games, and their world federations are not members of the IWGA. The participants will be treated according to the same rules as participants of official program’s disciplines. However, the results of invited sports competitions will not be included in the final medal classification.
The 2017 World Games were originally due to be held from August 3rd to 13th but were moved to July 20th to 30th in order to avoid a clash with the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London.
Wrocław was awarded the event in 2012, beating out the capital of Hungary, Budapest, now a candidate city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.