IFAF Applies To Participate in 2020 Olympics

The International Federation of American Football – IFAF – is taking the next step and applying to have American football become a part of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo.

According to Andy Fuller, managing director of IFAF, twenty six international sports federations have applied to gain IOC recognition and participate in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

The process of participating in an Olympic games involves multiple stages with the first step being gaining status as an Olympic sport.

IOC - Tokyo 2020

Nine sports were included in the first Olympic Games in which were held in Athens, Greece in 1896. Since then, the number of sports contested at the Summer Olympic Games has gradually risen to twenty-eight.  At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, however, the number of sports dropped to twenty-six after the IOC decided to remove baseball and softball from the Olympic program.

Nevertheless, these sports still retain their status as Olympic sports with the possibility of returning to the Olympic program in future games. The IOC voted to reinstate both golf and rugby to the Olympic program in 2009, which brought the total back up to 28 sports at the 2016 games in Brazil.

In order for a sport or discipline to be considered for inclusion in the list of Summer Olympics sports, it must be widely practiced in at least 75 countries, spread over four continents.

So here is the list of the 26 sports seeking to gain Olympic status:

Applicant IFs (sports listed in alphabetical order) 1. World Air Sports Federation – FAI 2. International Federation of American Football – IFAF 3. World Baseball Softball Confederation – WBSC 4. World Confederation of Billiards Sports – WCBS 5. Bowls Sports World Confederation – CMSB 6. World Bowling – WB 7. World Bridge Federation – WBF 8. World Chess Federation – FIDE 9. World DanceSport Federation – WDSF 10. International Floorball Federation – IFF 11. World Flying Disc Federation – WFDF 12. World Karate Federation – WKF 13. International Korfball Federation – IKF 14. International Netball Federation – INF 15. International Orienteering Federation – IOF 16. Federation of International Polo – FIP 17. International Racquetball Federation – IRF 18. International Roller Sports Federation – FIRS 19. International Federation of Sport Climbing – IFSC 20. World Squash Federation – WSF 21. International Sumo Federation – IFS 22. International Surfing Association – ISA 23. Tug of War International Federation – TWIF 24. World Underwater Federation – CMAS 25. International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation – IWWF 26. International Wushu Federation – IWUF

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.