IFAF Unified! Court of Arbitration rules Richard MacLean is President of IFAF

Richard MacLean has now been declared the legitimate president of the International Federation of American Football according to a letter issued by MacLean and IFAF.

In the letter, MacLean states that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its full Arbitral Award and ruled that the election of Roope Noronen as interim president at the 2015 IFAF Congress in Canton, Ohio was valid and that Richard MacLean was duly elected President of IFAF on 17 September 2016 and is IFAF’s current President.

Thus, the war that has raged since July 2015, and ripped apart the international football community, would seem to be over.

The writing was on the wall last September when CAS declared that Tommy Wiking had in fact resigned as president of IFAF on April 30, 2015 and that ‘any and all actions’ taken by Wiking as President or on behalf of IFAF are ‘null and void.’

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), or Tribunal arbitral du sport (TAS), is an international quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. Generally speaking, CAS is most known for arbitrating disputes in sport with connections to Olympic Games and anti-doping. It is important to note that CAS was originally formed by the International Olympic Committee. 

The war that was ignited by the cancellation of the IFAF World Championships in Stockholm and which led to the split between IFAF into IFAF Paris and IFAF New York factions, has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars according to one unnamed source, and hurt the growth of football worldwide.

Nations could not schedule games against one another for fear of sanctions from one side or the other.

Hopefully, the international American football community can now begin to heal again. With Austria and France already agreeing to participate in the IFAF European Championships, will other countries follow suit and return to the fold?

This does not necessarily that there is smooth sailing ahead. IFAF must still contend with the looming threat of expulsion from the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

For now though, MacLean can finally focus on the task at hand. Reuniting a splintered American football world.

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.