Austria and Finland clash for European Championship Crown

Austria and Finland clash for the 2023 IFAF European Championships title in men’s tackle football this Saturday, October 28, at the NV Arena in St. Pölten, kickoff 15:00. The crowning of a new champion will be streamed live on IFAF.TV.

An action-packed weekend sees Sweden and Italy meet to contest the bronze medal in Gothenburg (13:00) at Valhalla IP on Saturday, while an hour later Denmark take on Great Britain for fifth place at Gentofte Stadium in Copenhagen (14:00).

On Sunday, France and Serbia meet for seventh place at the Parc des Sports in Avignon, and Hungary host Czechia for ninth place at the Rugby Centre in Budapest, with both games at 14:00. The game between Germany and Israel for a place in Group A has been postponed.

Led by Head Coach Max Sommer, Austria has an opportunity to win an historic first European title on home soil having defeated Hungary, France and reigning champions Italy. Austria’s championship pedigree includes a narrow 30-27 defeat to Germany in front of a crowd of 27,000 at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna in 2014, and then four years later another silver medal against France. Austria also claimed bronze in 1995 and 2010.

“We’re expecting an exciting game,” said Coach Sommer. “We definitely have to bring our A-game to be able to hold our own against the very strong Finns.”

Finland has participated in every one of the previous European Championships, finishing as runners up in the inaugural tournament in 1983. They then beat Italy in 1985, twice lost the title game to Great Britain and won four straight crowns in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2000. Finland have medaled in four tournaments since they last ruled the continent. Finland head coach Mikko Kolkkalainen has been a member of his nation’s team at all five previous continental victories.

“We are excited to be playing for the European championship after a long break,” said Coach Kolkkalainen. “The challenge is tough; the Austrian team is of high quality and filled with some of Europe’s best players. However, we also have a very tight-knit and competitive team.”

2023 IFAF European Championship

Saturday, October 28, 

Championship Game

Austria vs Finland

NV Arena

St Polten, Austria

Watch live. Austria vs Finland. 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am EDT)

Bronze Medal Game

Sweden vs Italy

Valhalla IP

Gothenburg, Sweden

Watch live PPV. Sweden vs Italy, 13:00 CET (1 pm, 7 am EDT)

Fifth Place Game

Denmark vs Great Britain

Gentofte Stadium

Copenhagen, Denmark

Watch live. Great Britain @ Denmark, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 9 am EDT).

Sunday, October 29

Seventh Place Game

France vs Serbia

Parc des Sports

Avignon, France

Watch live. Serbia @ France, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am EDT)


Ninth Place Game

Hungary vs Czechia

Rugby Center

Budapest, Hungary

Watch live. Czech Republic @ Hungary, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am EDT)


12th Place Game / Promotion to Group A

Germany vs Israel


Switzerland finished in 11th place

Russia relegated to Group B in 13th place

Spain finished in 14th place

Turkey finished in 15th place

Ireland finished in 16th place

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North