Serbia to host the 2024 IFAF European Junior Flag Football Championships

The Serbian Association of American Football (SAAF) will host the 2024 IFAF European Junior Flag Football Championships from September 6-8.

The Kovilovo Resort in the Serbian capital Belgrade will welcome national teams from across the continent in the U17 boys’, U17 girls’ and U15 mixed categories. Serbia successfully held the first-ever IFAF U15 European Flag Football Championships in 2016.

“This event provides a fantastic opportunity for young athletes to connect, share experiences from their respective countries, and collectively enhance the popularity of flag football,” said SAAF President Nikola Davidović. “It is a chance for them to forge new friendships, experience Serbian culture, and create lasting memories beyond the field of play.

“The tournament, set in the suburbs of Belgrade, aims to create an atmosphere where the spirit of camaraderie flourishes alongside the competitive excitement on the field. We will host a tournament that provides a memorable experience for the visiting athletes and promotes flag football in Serbia and the Balkan region.”

Flag Football will feature on the official programme of the Olympic Games for the first time in history in Los Angeles 2028. The eleventh IFAF Flag Football World Championships will be played in Lahti in Finland in August.

Action shot from the 2023 event in Italy.

The Kovilovo Resort is regarded as the best sports complex in Serbia, where top-tier teams from across Europe, as well as the national teams of Serbia in both male and female sports, have utilized the facilities. Athletes will reside in spacious rooms and suites, eat at an exceptional restaurant serving a menu tailored for athletes, and will have all they need for relaxation after matches, with the use of the pool and spa center.

Serbia’s U17 boys won the silver medal at the 2023 championships held in Grossetto, Italy. Great Britain, Italy and Israel are the defending IFAF European Junior Flag Football champions having won gold medals when more than 400 young athletes from 12 nations competed during the three-day tournament. Great Britain’s U17 girls enjoyed a 19-6 victory over Italy, while Israel took the U17 boys title with a 34-13 win over Serbia. In the U15 mixed competition, which featured athletes of both genders for the first time, reflecting flag football’s highly inclusive nature and integration of male and female athletes, Italy came out on top, beating Czechia 27-20 in the final.

“Europe has the highest number of nations competing for a continental champion, so youth development plays a pivotal role in the future success of teams in our tournaments,” said IFAF Director for Europe Gregor Murth. “These players are our future and having different hosts for tournaments throughout the continent is critical for the development of our sport.”