Record number of teams to feature at 2023 IFAF European Flag Football Championships in Ireland

The focus on the series of IFAF continental flag football championships shifts across the Atlantic Ocean from August 18-20 when a record number of 33 teams from 20 nations compete for the European crown in Ireland. The University of Limerick will host 20 men’s teams and 13 women’s teams at the tenth IFAF European Flag Football Championships.

The event sees a thirty-eight-percent increase in entries from the 2019 tournament and includes six countries entering for the first time. Limerick also welcomes the following nations who did not compete at the championships four years ago: Belgium, Cameroon, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

As the sport continues to grow at a rapid rate on the African continent, IFAF has opened entries to teams looking to build experience on the road to the 2024 IFAF Flag Football World Championships to be played in Lahti, Finland, an invitation that was accepted by debut nation Cameroon.

“The significant growth of Flag Football around the world is reflected by the record number of entries in this European edition of the IFAF continental championships, who we are excited to see compete at the highest level in Ireland,” said IFAF President Pierre Trochet. “The University of Limerick has a proven track record of accommodating international events and American Football Ireland is ready to welcome our sport’s elite athletes to the Emerald Isle.”

The second of three tournaments in 2023 follows the Americas event, which was won by the United States’ men and women and will be followed by the Asia/Oceania championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October. The competitions serve as qualifying events for the 2024 IFAF Flag Football World Championship in Finland.

Reigning champions in the men’s tournament Denmark are targeting a seventh straight European title and have been drawn in Group D against Czechia, Germany, Poland, and Sweden.

Group A features silver medalists at both the 2019 championships and the 2022 World Games and fourth place finishers at the 2021 IFAF World Championships Italy. They take on hosts Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

In Group B, France who claimed the bronze medal at the 2019 Euros and were continental champions in 2005 and 2007, line up against Great Britain, Netherlands, Slovakia, and Spain.

Group C features Austria, who claimed fourth place at The World Games last year and fifth spot at the world championships. The first-ever European champions in 2003 are paired with fourth place finisher at the 2019 Euros Israel, Belgium, Cameroon, and Georgia.

In both the men’s and women’s competitions, each group will play a round robin style tournament on August 18 and 19 to determine the lineup of the knockout round, medal and placement games for August 20. The full games schedule will be released shortly.

The 13 women’s teams competing in Limerick will be divided into two groups. Reigning champions Spain are joined in a six-team Group A by Austria, who finished fourth at The World Games, and were the top-placed European team at the 2021 World Championships as they finished third. The Austrians won four straight continental titles between 2009 and 2015. The competition’s first-ever winner in 2005 Finland, hosts Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland complete the group.

Silver medalists from 2019 Great Britain return to international competition for the first time since that success alongside 2017 European champions Denmark in Group B. The first women’s team to win a flag football world championship Sweden compete along with Italy, France, Czechia, and Ukraine.

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