IFAF Confirms USA Football Bid to Host 2015 World Championships Approved

The IFAF Executive Board has decided to confirm that there is enough support for the 2015 IFAF World Championships to go ahead this summer in Canton, Ohio.

IFAF has received a confirmation of participation from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Australia and France under the new conditions. Last month, the international American football community was taken by surprise when the original host city of Stockholm, Sweden and the host federation, the Svenska Amerikansk Fotbollförbundet (SAFF) announced they could not organize the event. Less then seven months before the tournament was scheduled to commence the IFAF began to court new proposals for international American football’s premier event.

Seven nations have now confirmed and one qualification game (Panama v. Brazil) is left to be played, and as a result IFAF will announce the tournament dates, schedule and teams in February. The remaining unconfirmed yet qualified teams (Germany, Austria, and Morocco) still have time to evaluate their potential to participate.

IFAF Vice President Roope Noronen told AFI on Saturday:

Roope Noronen

Roope Noronen

“With the challenging situation we were all left in last month, I am proud of how the member federations have responded. We look forward to a successful IFAF 2015 World Championships in the US this coming July.”

There are still a few questions that remain. Are Germany, Austria, (although rumor has it that they are in) and Morocco in?

The 12th qualification spot was reserved for the former hosts Sweden, and with the defending champions, USA Football, now hosting, it is uncertain whether or not this twelfth spot will be occupied by a new nation or will remain vacant.

On top of this, countries who have confirmed are scrambling now to secure practice facilities. Although Canton is the location of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the city itself is has a population of 72,000 which begs the question; will the city have the necessary facilities available in time to properly accommodate at least 10 teams? Apparently, the teams will setup and practice in local high schools for the duration of the world championship tournament. These questions and quite a few more remain to be answered.

Nevertheless, the good news is that the 2015 IFAF World Championships are moving forward and with almost the entire complement of teams.

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.