IFAF set to host landmark Congress at home in Paris!

More than 100 delegates from national American football federations worldwide will descend on Paris, France this weekend when the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) hosts its annual Congress – the first since the recent IOC Session that conferred full recognition on IFAF and also saw the historic addition of flag football to the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

IFAF has confirmed that the gathering will take place from 24-25 November at Jean Bouin stadium in Paris – a sporting landmark of the city where the international federation was first established in 1998 and continues to have its global headquarters.

IFAF is currently one of two IOC-recognised international federations with its legal base in France – and, since last month, the only Olympic sport federation with this status.

It comes as new legal provisions have been introduced in France this year in an effort to attract more international sports organisations to the country as part of the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024.

The agenda for IFAF’s Paris Congress is set to feature a landmark vote to add National Football League (NFL) representation to the extended IFAF Board.

The NFL, the primary professional league in American football, has joined forces with IFAF through Vision 2028 – a pioneering joint venture and partnership model that makes flag football the cornerstone of shared sport development goals globally.

Alongside the Congress, the national finals of the first NFL Flag championships for children aged 5-15 in France will be held at Jean Bouin stadium on Saturday, 25 November. The programme is being delivered by staff of the French American Football Federation (FFFA), IFAF’s member federation in the country, following a model successfully adopted in territories around the world.

The inaugural French champions will represent the country at the NFL Flag International tournament taking place alongside the NFL Pro Bowl Games in Orlando, Florida in February 2024.

IFAF President Pierre Trochet said:

“It is fitting, in IFAF’s 25th anniversary year – and a year that promises to mark a watershed for our sport worldwide – to be able to welcome the global American football family back home to Paris; to the city where it all began for us and which is now the Olympic host.

“There could be no better stage for what will be a great celebration, recognizing not only the historic events of Mumbai but everything we have achieved together over the past 12 months.

“This year has demonstrated the power of bold vision, creativity and collaboration – in particular with our friends and partners at the NFL. I’m delighted that they will be with us as we take steps towards stronger alignment and plan for the golden opportunities of the years to come.”