IFAF World Junior Championship kick off this weekend with four games

Reigning champion Canada looks to defend the IFAF U20 World Junior Championship crown on home soil in Edmonton against nations from five continents during three action-packed game days from June 22-30.

Commonwealth Stadium and Clarke Stadium will host a total of 12 games as Australia, Austria, Brazil, Japan, Panama and the United States look to wrestle the gold medal from Canada at the sixth edition of this international tackle football tournament.

Tickets for single games, Canada Passes, and Tournament Passes are now on sale through TicketMaster and from the official website https://worldjrfootballchampionships.com.

Three-time winners Canada – the most successful nation at the international junior level – will take on a Brazil squad competing in the U20 category for the first time this Saturday, June 22, at 5pm local time (7 pm Eastern Daylight Time) in Commonwealth Stadium. Canada won gold in 2018 in front of a crowd of more than 35,000 at Estadio Olímpico Universitario in Mexico City, adding to the title won under current head coach Warren Craney in 2016.

Two-time champions the United States – who won the inaugural competition in 2009 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and again in 2014 – look to bounce back having finished third in 2018. With former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly at the helm, the Americans take on Panama to kick off the action at Commonwealth Stadium at 12pm local time (2 pm EDT) on Saturday.

The adjoining Clarke Stadium will open the celebration of junior football at 11am local time on Saturday when six-time European champions Austria face Canada 2. The additional host nation team will compete due to constraints that impacted the participation of an additional representative from either Europe or the Americas.

Clarke Stadium will also witness two-time bronze medalist Japan take on the team that has travelled the furthest to Canada, the junior Outback squad from Australia, kick off 4pm.

The first round of games will determine the matchups for the U20 semifinals when another quadruple-header of games are played on Wednesday, June 26. The medal rounds will take place on Sunday, June 30.

Saturday, June 22

Commonwealth Stadium

Team USA vs Team Panama

Two time champions, the United States will face Panama in the opening game at Commonwealth Stadium.

Watch live. Team USA vs Team Panama, 20:00 CET (8 pm, 2 pm EDT)

Team Canada vs Team Brazil

Defending and three-time World Champions, Team Canada, will face Team Brazil, a team they have never played before.

Watch live. Team Canada vs Team Brazil, 01:00 CET June 23 (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Clarke Stadium

Team Canada 2 vs Team Austria

Team Canada 2 will take on European U20 champions, Team Austria in the opening game at Clarke Stadium.

Watch live. Team Canada 2 vs Team Austria, 19:00 CET (7 pm, 1 pm EDT)

Team Japan vs Team Australia

In maybe the most intriguing matchup of Day 1, Team Japan, two-time bronze medalists, will take on Team Australia.

Watch live. Team Japan vs Team Australia, 00:00 CET (12 midnight, 6 pm EDT)

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North