The British American Football Association, BAFA, have announced that Great Britain will host the 2019 IFAF Women’s European Championship during the week of August 18 at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds, England.
The championship, which sees Finland as reigning champions having won the previous tournament held in Spain in 2015, will feature six teams and a format similar to that used in Vancouver, Canada, at the 2017 World Championship which the United States won.
Under head coach Jim Messenger, hosts Great Britain have quickly risen to prominence in the global women’s game. The championship in Spain was the national team’s first competitive tournament. Having secured the silver medal the team went on to take fourth place in the 2017 World Championship, becoming Europe’s number 1 ranked team in the process.
In choosing Leeds to stage the event BAFA have opted for somewhere they know well. The John Charles Stadium has hosted numerous BritBowl and British University Championship Games and the area has a number of strong domestic programs. Competing teams will be based at Leeds Beckett University, one of the nation’s foremost sporting institutions.
Chair of BAFA Nichole McCulloch
‘This is fantastic news for BAFA, the country and the development of women’s football in Great Britain. The women’s game has gone from strength to strength over recent years and the staging of this event will provide a tremendous opportunity to showcase the very best of the sport to the British public and engage a new generation of girls into the sport.
IFAF Director for Europe, Gregor Murth welcomed the announcement;
‘We look forward to the staging of the Women’s European Championship in Leeds. I have no doubt that BAFA will host a tremendous event and the athletes of Europe will look forward to the hospitality and support of the people of Leeds.’
— Int'l Federation of American Football (@IFAFMedia) January 8, 2019