Spain’s FEFA IFAF Congress Press Release Raises Delegate Questions

The Spanish federation, Federación Española de Fútbol Americano (FEFA), released a statement on Wednesday acknowledging the IFAF Congress split in the July 17 meeting in Canton, Ohio and naming the delegates who left the IFAF Congress meeting room to set up their own meeting in the lobby of the hotel.

The following is translation from the FEFA press release and discusses the events that unfolded according to FEFA representative Gonzalo Varela*, the Spanish national team OL coach.

“The Assembly begins at 09:30 in the morning. When we entered the meeting room where it is held, Tommy Wiking approaches the main table to take his place and is told he does not have a place there. When refusal of Tommy Wiking chairing the board meeting occurs, the delegate from Turkey asks why President-elect (Tommy Wiking) can not take his place at the head table. The answer is that Tommy Wiking resigned and it was accepted, which, for them, means he is no longer the President. At this time all supporters of Tommy Wiking rise from the assembly and out of the hotel meeting room to hold the meeting in the lobby of the same.”

As confirmed in previous articles, the sticking point from many national federations surrounds the resignation of Tommy Wiking. It was unknown to many of the delegates in attendance that Wiking had declared his intention to resign before withdrawing it at the end of April. It is still unclear why formal evidence of Wiking’s resignation was not produced and discussed at this time.

The release continues listing the federation representatives who attended and voted on motions in the Tommy Wiking-led Congress of the hotel lobby.

IFAF delegates

This list raises a few questions. AFI has been contacted by representatives from Ukraine and Romania stating their country sent no delegates to Canton. Romania, specifically, has stated no one from the Romania attended and that Andrei Mirescu is unknown to the Romania league leadership.

It is also important to know that Romania has no organized governing federation body. A country may only enter IFAF once it has a federation. The Romanian championship is organized through a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ and the site in fact states;

“American football is relatively new in Romania and in the absence of a national federation is governed by club team the Bucharest Warriors.”

Thus, even if a delegate from a country like Romania was present, that person wouldn’t have had right to cast a vote among members federations in IFAF Congress.

The same can be applied to Greece, where there is no known league or federation.

Another puzzling name on the list is that of Tommy Wiking himself as the representative for Sweden. When he declined to stand for reelection to the Swedish federation in February, his place was taken by Minette Rogner. Thus, he is no longer president, nor a member of the Swedish federation and in fact is not eligible to vote. Indeed, from what is understood of the IFAF statutes, the president of IFAF must be a member of his or her own country’s federation which, again, he is not. This raises further questions.

Despite these blatant discrepancies, it is rumored that the two sides are currently in negotiations and a compromise might be in the works.

*Footnote: Varela has no official position in FEFA. FEFA President Enrique García de Castro was not in attendance at Canton. Garcia is an IFAF Europe Executive Committee Board Member, GFL International Vice-President and Former EFAF Vice-President.

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.