As the spread of coronavirus paralyzes the world, putting a halt to all public events including virtually all sports, the International Federation of American Football has revised its earlier decision to postpone two major world championship tournaments and has now cancelled them outright instead.
Both the 2020 U19 World Championship and the 2020 Flag Football World Championships have been cancelled according to a statement from the President of IFAF, Richard MacLean.
Dear nations,Following a Board meeting last week I write to inform you that IFAF will not deliver either the Flag Football World Championships or the U19 World Championship in 2020.Despite the fact that this is undoubtedly disappointing it was felt that this is a necessary step to take.While we hope that the threat of the COVID-19 virus recedes as the year progresses we recognize that the current disruption it has had and will continue to have.Any championship requires the hosts and attending teams to have a meaningful lead-in time to prepare. With the current uncertainty set to continue this it is not to anyone’s benefit to continue to wait. In addition, we recognize that many federations are looking to Summer and to the Fall to complete domestic schedules – something which is business critical for many, and which may be required in order to both select and finance an international program.In terms of the two tournaments we will look to schedule them in 2021.The U19 World Championship will become a U20 event in order to accommodate players who would have potentially become ineligible due to age.We recognize that 2021 is going to be a year where football has an increased number of events on the calendar as a consequence. We will seek to work sympathetically around this to deliver a co-ordinated and cost-sensitive calendar.In regard to Congress we remain committed to hosting the next Congress in the United States. We will explore a number of options with the host nation to give ourselves flexibility for dates later in the year. However, the exact scheduling and confirmation will remain under review in the short term as we react to circumstances.Whilst the postponement of these events is disappointing we want to both reassure players, coaches and staff that they will happen and we also want to ensure that where possible, nations can prioritize their domestic game.Yours sincerely,Richard.