IFAF World Flag Football Championships going ahead in Israel

According to Richard MacLean, outgoing president of the International Federation of American Football, the IFAF World Flag Football Championships scheduled to start on December 6 in Israel, will be going ahead despite international travel restrictions being imposed to and from Israel due to the Omicron virus.

According to MacLean, IFAF World Flag Football teams will be entitled to a special travel exemption voucher:

“The Israeli government is issuing our participants travel vouchers. They haven’t canceled and international events are going on in Israel. We are totally ‘bubbled’ with government approval.”

A representative of the host federation, American Football Israel, confirmed this. All the teams will apparently remain isolated “in a bubble”.

The Israeli government announced this past weekend that it would be closing its borders for a two-week period to try to contain the spread of omicron. Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Tuesday that restricting tourism to Israel is “temporary” for 14 days and that the government would not “extend it automatically,”.

The tournament is slated to be held at the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem, December 6-8, 2021. So far, at least one nation, the Czech Republic, has apparently dropped out due to the current situation and others are scrambling to get travel documents. There is no team from Canada as Football Canada made the decision on November 1 not to attend after consultation with athletes, coaches and officials, and after making a risk and liability assessment and then notified IFAF at that time.

The bi-annual tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Denmark in 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic, and then Spain was set to host it this past summer. For a variety of reasons including the pandemic, the decision was made to move the tournament to Israel in December.


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