Did IFAF Breakaway Group Really Have Support from 22 Countries?

As negotiations apparently continue in secret between IFAF with Roope Noronen as President and the IFAF breakaway group headed by Tommy Wiking, more inaccuracies are surfacing regarding the number of delegates who supported the “rebels”.

Wiking & Co. claim that 22 countries attended their impromptu congress and voted unanimously for the Wiking and German federation President Robert Huber card and against Noronen and USA Football president Scott Hallenbeck.

But were there actually 22 delegates who were eligible to vote in that group?

As mentioned earlier, Tommy Wiking was elected president but since he is no longer a member of the Swedish federation, he is not eligible to stand for election. To add fuel to the fire, Romania issued a statement Friday emphatically stating that despite what the Wiking-Huber camp claims, there was no delegate from Romania in attendance at the IFAF Congress, and the person cited by the breakaway group as being the representative from Romania – Andrei Mirescu – is unknown to them.

This calls into question the validity of many of the delegates that this group claims supported them and voted in a new board ousting Roope Noronen and Scott Hallenback in the process.

LEFA Statement

With these “secret negotiations” apparently underway, an anonymous source who knows the infrastructure of IFAF well, also questions whether countries like Bulgaria, Ukraine and Greece, all three of whom, from what we have been told, are not full fledged IFAF members with federations, were really in attendance.

This adds to the suspicion that the breakaway group did not have any kind of majority and that was the reason they left the meeting.

Against this backdrop, what is the view of the International Olympic Committee regarding IFAF now?

If, as Wiking claims, he is the only hope for IFAF to gain IOC recognition, would the IOC seriously consider a group who were bent on tearing down the very organization that was built to bind American football together internationally?

With IFAF in seeming total disarray and infighting rampant, what is the actual likelihood that the IOC would view IFAF and American football as a serious candidate for the Olympic Games?

Roger Kelly

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.

  • Dr.D

    It seems to me that Mr. Wiking dealt the death blow to the already unlikely bid for the olympics 2020 with his botched world championships in Stockholm. There is no reason to believe he has any leverage whatsoever with IOC at this point and would likely have to be viewed as a liability going forward anyway.
    There is also a more general problem with IFAF’s strategy regarding the Olympic games altogether. With 11on11 tackle football out of the question for the olympics due to the necessary size of teams and the restrictions on the overall number of athletes for the olympics, IFAF for some reason chose to promote an artificial “beach” version of flag football for IOC consideration. Unlike flag football, where IFAF has held world championships bi-annually since 2002 with ever growing number of participating nations, there only has been a handful of regional “beach” championships with muted interest from national federations. For instance four of the eight European teams participating in last year’s world championships in Italy chose not to participate in the first European beach flag football championships despite the tournament being held right after and in the same location of the world championships.

Skip to toolbar