Italy wins bid to host the 2019 IFAF U19 European Championships

Italy has won the bid to organize the International Federation of American Football U19 European Championship in Bologna from July 24 to August 3, 2019.

Havas Sports & Entertainment will team up again with the FIDAF, the Italian Federation of American Football, for this important event that places Italy center stage in continental football.

Fabio Tortosa,  FIDAF board member, was excited after receiving the letter from IFAF confirming approval of the Italian bid:

“We’ve been working in the dark for weeks on end and right from the start we managed to prove, even to the skeptics, that Italy was truly determined to cooperate fully with the International Federation of American Football. The FIDAF had already made its willingness to move forward clear to the IFAF management during the Panama Congress, even though it knew that practically all the events scheduled for 2019 had already been assigned. We only had one ray of hope left and that was to host the U19 European Championship. And we believed in ourselves and put together an offering that no one else could match. I would like to officially thank Havas SE, in particular Federico Fantini and all his staff, and Luca Correnti and Barbara Allaria in the FIDAF Press Office who have tirelessly served as the operational arm during this first important phase, enabling us to meet the almost prohibitive deadlines set for registering the bids. This will be the first time ever that so many people will have been involved in the European Championship: between athletes, technical staff and service personnel, more than 500 people will stay in the selected hotels in Bologna and we have no doubt that Italy is up to fulfilling the task that it has been assigned. We know that the eyes of all of Europe are on us now, as well as those of CONI, but we’re ready to take on the challenge! This is also a clear response to all those who said that the Italian federation was no longer worthy anything on the international scene after we had been excluded from the Senior European Championships…”

 Once again HAVAS SE will work alongside the federation in a partnership that had helped to bolster Italy’s bid and gain this highly sought-after acknowledgement.

Stefano Spadini, the CEO of the Havas Media Group:

This project reaffirms the work we’ve done over the years with the FIDAF to promote American football in our country. We’re pleased that we can support our partner at 360° in organizing this event too as it has international importance for the world of American sport.”

Two stadiums have been selected for the European ChampionshipC.S. Bernardi (Parco Lunetta Gamberini) and C.S. Arcoveggio – and the event has the full support of an enthusiastic City of Bologna, which welcomed the Italian bid.

Eight nations will participate in the format proposed by Italy. Although Italy, as the host nation, has qualified, and Austria owing to winning the 2017 IFAF Paris U19 European Championship, would seem to have already qualified, determining the other six countries will take more time. Sweden won the IFAF NY version of the 2017 U19 European Championship.

However, according to Andy Fuller, IFAF Managing Director, so far only the host nation has qualified:

“The tournament in Paris was not an IFAF event. IFAF, as based in Paris, was/remains the Noronen/MacLean led entity. If a champion was to pre-qualify then that honour would go to Sweden. However, at present no decision has been made beyond the qualification of the host nation.”

While the political split in IFAF would seem to have been resolved, some of the issues remain to be worked out.

Nevertheless, Tortosa has begun moving quickly:

We will be in Bologna over the coming weeks to meet with the authorities and organizations, so we can start working out the operational details of the event. We can also finally get back to thinking about football, so we can prepare a national team that is up to the mark for a competition of this magnitude. We hope that this news will provide added motivation for all players and coaching staff currently involved in championships for youngsters in Italy.”

FIDAF President Leoluca Orlando is also extremely happy:

These have been difficult months for Europeans involved in American football. Europe had been split in two by problems that not easily explained, especially to our players. I’m immensely happy Italy has been assigned the championships and I know that once again we will demonstrate that we deserve the trust officially placed in us today by the IFAF.

Source: FIDAF

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