LIVESTREAM IFAF European Championship: Team Italy @ Sweden, October 31, 12:30 CET (12:30 pm, 6:30 am ET)

Malmö, Sweden will play host to this highly anticipated IFAF European Championship Gold Medal game that will pit Team Sweden against Italy.

Team Sweden will look to defend its home turf and celebrate their first gold since 2005 in front of friends and family. Sweden defeated Finland’s semi-finals to be able to host today’s championship game. On the visiting side, an extremely talented Italian team looks to make history with its first IFAF European championship.

Leading the home team’s offense is quarterback Phillip Juhlin. Juhlin played well against Finland in his last outing two weeks ago and will be targeting receivers Jacob Bergwall, Kevin Börzsei, and Mattias Gauthier. Kasper Wedberg and Timmy Göransson will share the load out of the backfield. Both players are stocky hard runners who can pick up tough yards after contact. Eric Blomgren leads an experienced offensive line into this game against a well-coached Italian front seven.

Team Italy @ Sweden, October 31, 12:30 CET (12:30 pm, 6:30 am ET)

Sweden’s defense aims to contain a stable of Italian running backs working behind a large offensive line. ELF superstar Sebastian Gauthier is sure to have an impact. The hard-hitting linebacker has a long history of playing for Sweden and is coming off of a fantastic season in the European League of Football. Gauthier pairs well with Carlstad linebacker Mattias Eriksson one of the Swedish Superserien’s best defenders. In the secondary, Nicholas Peterson and William James are two playmaking safeties that could change the game with a key turnover. At the line of scrimmage, Benjamin Egbudiwe is a large defensive tackle who can cause havoc in opposing backfields.

Team Sweden head coach BD Kennedy:

“Without a doubt, it would be huge. This has been a long process and when this opportunity and idea was first shared with me by Robert Sundberg, our GM of the National Team, it was the goal that we would find our way to this game. I was fortunate enough to have been a part of the coaching staff when we won in 2005 and I know that is an extremely special moment. At the same time, anytime you get to represent your country in the sport you love to play, it is a special moment.”

Davide Giuliano, head coach of Team Italy, leads his team onto the field as they look to win gold as the visiting underdogs. Today’s championship game could make history, as Italy goes for their first IFAF European Gold. However, the team has not played together since 2019, having advanced to the championship game due to a COVID-19-related forfeit in the semifinals in early August from Team France.

Quarterback Luke Zahradka of the Milano Seamen will be under center for the Italian national team once again. The veteran national team passer will have plenty of options as a skilled group of receivers will be looking for the ball including Italian Bowl standout Simone Alinovi and Milano teammates Stefano Di Tunisi and Jordan Bouah. Tight end Nick Diaco is also another target to watch as the 6’4 athlete showed his toughness and versatility during a phenomenal season with the Parma Panthers. The running game will feature veterans Alessandro Malpeli Avalli and Mike Gentili. If Italy’s offensive line can hold their blocks, expect this talented offense to move the ball well against a physical Swedish team.

American-Italian running back Gentili comments on the rise of his national team:

“For us, this is more than just one game – this is the final step in something we have been working towards since winning the Group B in 2016. Every camp, every qualifier, every cancellation, the amount of adversity this team has overcome already has been incredible. It’s brought us so close as a team and helped us drive toward this final goal. We’ve been together since July, all working, all ready, all for this game.”

A strong linebacking core headlines Italy’s defense as Enzo Mensah, Nicholas Knoblauch, Nick Alfieri, and Alex Ferrari are physical tacklers with speed, eager to represent their country once again. In the trenches, Milano Seamen captain Lorenzo Dalle Piagge needs to have a big game to help contain a talented group of Swedish running backs. In the secondary Guiseppe Della Vecchia, a veteran of the Italian national team expects to make an impact from his safety position along with German Football League champion Cody Pastorino.

Sweden would love nothing more than to hoist the trophy in front of their fans in Malmö. Despite playing at home, Sweden will have to beat a talented Italian team to complete their magical IFAF European Championship run. Expect both of these teams to play hard as they are hungry to claim gold.

Watch the game live here. Team Italy @ Sweden, October 31, 12:30 CET (12:30 pm, 6:30 am ET)

Team Sweden

Team Italy

 

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football