Records, firsts and new champions crowned as IFAF European Flag Football Championships conclude in Limerick, Ireland

International Federation of American Football (IFAF) President Pierre Trochet has hailed the “breathtaking” development of performance-level flag football in Europe following the conclusion of the three-day IFAF European Flag Football Championships in Limerick, Ireland this evening (Sunday, 20 August).

The 10th and biggest-ever edition of the tournament ended with a women’s gold medal final that saw the Great Britain team secure a first-ever continental title, beating reigning champions Spain 26-19 in a reversal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final earlier the same day. Great Britain’s Brittany Botterill was announced Most Valuable Player in the final.

Meanwhile, the men’s final ended with Germany beating Austria, following up their elimination of Denmark, which had claimed the previous six straight titles, in the semi-finals.

Two entertaining bronze medal games saw Israel Men and Germany Women claim the final podium places, overcoming Denmark Men (42-8) and France Women (41-14) respectively.

A record total of 33 teams from 20 nations – a 38% increase on the previous edition – were represented among the entries for the championships, which resulted in a number of firsts, including the first ever points in international competition for Georgia.

Other newcomers to the European event included Ukraine, reflecting the ongoing rapid growth of flag football on the continent, powered by the joint development efforts of IFAF and its partners at the National Football League (NFL.)

Team Germany vs Denmark Photo: Ian Humes

IFAF President Pierre Trochet, who presented the medals at the University of Limerick venue alongside the NFL’s Henry Hodgson, said:

“This edition of the IFAF European Flag Football Championships has not only been the biggest but also the best yet – expertly organized by our colleagues at American Football Ireland in world-class facilities at the University of Limerick, and by far the most open, competitive and impressive on the field of play.

“It’s genuinely breathtaking to see the development taking place in the sport at performance level, which is not only restricted to a handful of nations and is perhaps especially striking on the women’s side of the game. This is something everybody here in Limerick has been talking about. Teams that would have won medals in the past are not even making the finals today. We see Europe really cementing its status as one of the continental hotbeds of the sport at what is a very exciting time in flag football’s development.”

Gold medal-winning Great Britain receiver Phoebe Schecter, a Sky Sports NFL broadcaster who is also athlete lead of the IFAF Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee as well as an IFAF/NFL Global Flag Football Ambassador, said:

“These Championships have felt historic and important in so many ways. I’ve been really privileged to be part of many championships over the years. The level has increased every year but there’s been an even bigger jump this time. I think a lot of that is being driven by increases in participation. We have way more people involved in this sport, but also the way we’re pulling in elite athletes from other sports – handball, basketball and so on. To see those skills being showcased here at the highest level, it’s so promising here for the future of this sport.”

The IFAF European Flag Football Championships were streamed live across the weekend for the first time on IFAF’s new over-the-top platform, IFAF.TV.

The tournament was the second of three continental events taking place in 2023 as part of an expanded international competition framework in flag football leading towards a record-breaking IFAF World Flag Football Championships in Lahti, Finland in 2024.

Flag football is one of nine additional sports shortlisted for potential inclusion in the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

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