Annual Sweden-Finland “grudge match” cancelled due to COVID-19

The president of the Finnish American Football Association, SAJL, Roope Noronen and the head of the Swedish American Football Federation, SAFF, Minette Rogner issued a joint statement Monday, officially cancelling the almost-annual inter-country tournament that stretches back almost 40 years.

This is a unique rivalry, unmatched anywhere in the world of American football.

Sweden and Finland have been playing this “grudge match” if not annually, then on a consistently regular basis since 1992. Since then, these two nations have faced each other at the men’s senior level a record 28 times with Finland holding a decided edge, 17 wins and 11 losses.

This year the games were to have also included the senior women’s tackle, women’s flag and U17 boy’s tackle.

Due to uncertainties COVID-19 and travel regulations between the two countries create for the fall, SAFF (Sveriges Amerikansk Fotball Förbundet) and SAJL (Suomen Amerikkalaisen Jalkapallon Liitto) made the decision to cancel this year’s national team games in men, women, juniors and flag. Games were scheduled to take place both in Finland and in Sweden during the weekends in early November.

We are obviously disappointed that there will be no games in this oldest rivalry in the world between national teams, but with the situation being what it is, it does not make sense to delay this decision. Rivalry will continue in 2021 and we will announce more details of those games early next year.

Roope Noronen SAJL & Minette Rogner SAFF

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