GRAPHIC: IFAF Europe 2016 Euro Qualifying Tournament

With the 2015 legs of the IFAF Europe national Euro-Group B qualifying now complete, we can take a peek at next summer’s Group B 2016 Qualifying Tournament, the international seedings, and competition format.

Check out our graphic which lays out the path for the nations looking for a spot in the 2018 European American Football Championships!

#1 Italy and #2 Great Britain enter as top ranked teams based on their performances in the Euro 2013 Qualifying Round. These nations have the provisional hosting rights to organize the 2016 qualifying tournaments. IFAF Europe will award the right to host and organize the qualifying tournaments in the December of 2015.

The rest of the qualifiers have been part of a busy autumn in European international football. Twelve nations met across the continent, all vying for a spot in Group B.

Action opened on August 30th, when #8 Israel traveled to Alcoron, Spain and surprised Spain 28-20.

On September 26th, #5 Switzerland played host to Slovakia, defeating them 21-0 after scoring touchdowns in each of the first three quarters.

In October, #3 Czech Republic withstood a last minute rally from a stubborn Poland to win 14-7 in Pardubice, Poland.

That same day, Serbia destroyed Hungary 56-0 in Belgrade. #4 seed Serbia, who also defeated Italy in a friendly this year, will be a nation to watch out for next summer.

#7 Russia secured its first IFAF Europe berth in a decade by defeating the visiting Norway 20-0 in front of a packed Tsarskoye Selo Stadium in St. Petersburg.

The #6 Dutch Lions earned the last Europe Group B spot when they topped the Belgium Barbarians 17-3 in front of a packed crowd of 4,200 fans at RKC Mandemakers Stadium in Waalwijk, Holland.

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Group B Tournament Details

Each participating team will play two games, one semifinal game and one placement game.

The third place games (placement games) will be played between the teams that lose the semifinal games and first place games will be played between the winners of the semifinal games in each qualifying tournament.

The winners of each qualifying tournament will advance to the 2017 European Championship qualifying round to play Sweden and Denmark for the two spots in the 2018 European Championship tournament.

Available dates for the organization of qualifying tournaments are the last weekend in August and the first two weekends in September 2016. The dates of the two qualifying tournaments will not overlap.

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.