The 2018 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) European Championship tournament has finally been set with six countries vying for the title.
Running from July 29 to August 4, and hosted by Finland, the tournament will feature Finland, Austria, France, Great Britain, Denmark and Sweden. The defending champions, Team Germany, are notably absent.
IFAF Managing Director Andy Fuller:
“This summer’s Championship provides us with a wonderful showcase for European football and a pathway to the 2019 World Championship. I am very happy that the finals are being staged in Finland. The Finnish Federation are experienced hosts of major football events, and we are all looking forward to an exciting and entertaining tournament.”
The president of the Finnish Federation of American Football, SAJL, Roope Noronen, welcomes other countries and spectators to Vantaa:
“We are really proud to be acting as organizers, and we will do our utmost to keep the participating countries happy under good conditions.”
The European Championships for American Football have been held 13 times since 1983, most recently in 2014 in Austria when Germany defeated Austria in double overtime. Finland is the most successful country in the history of the ECs with five championships (1985, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000), four silver medals (1983, 1989, 1991, 2001) and two bronze medals (1987 and 2005). Finland finished fourth in the 2014 tournament held in Austria.
Germany has won three of the last four titles.
With the war between two IFAF factions which has been waged since 2015, it was questionable as to whether this tournament would include most of the top teams. However, the two recent CAS rulings first removing Tommy Wiking and then recognizing Richard MacLean as president of IFAF, have returned a semblance of unity to IFAF. As a result, of the top four nations from the 2014 tournament, only Germany is missing. Austria finished second in the 2014 tournament held in Austria, France was third and Finland fourth. Denmark and Sweden finished fifth and sixth respectively.
The Men’s European Championship Tournament has been played twice before in Finland, in 1987 and 1991.
In less than a week, a total of nine games will be played with the teams divided into two groups. One group consists of Finland, Great Britain and France while the other pits Sweden, Denmark and Austria against each other. The groups will play a round robin format with the group winners meeting in the final.
2018 IFAF European Championship schedule:
Myyrmäki Sports Park, Vantaa,Finland:
Sunday July 29
3 pm: Denmark – Austria
7 pm: Finland – United Kingdom
Tuesday July 31
3 pm: Sweden – Denmark
7 pm: Great Britain – France
Thursday August 2
3 pm: Austria – Sweden
7 pm: France – Finland
Saturday August 4
11 am: 5th-6th
3 pm: Bronze medal game
7 pm: Gold medal game