Wiking Presides Over Weekend’s Paris IFAF Extraordinary Congress

This weekend in Paris the “breakaway” IFAF is holding an Extraordinary Congress. On Saturday, Tommy Wiking will preside over a congress intended to gain a semblance of control over the international organization which is supposedly governing “amateur” American football throughout the world.

A few weeks ago we announced that Roope Noronen was the president based on a statement issued by the Noronen’s IFAF group. New information has since come to our attention, and according to the French prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis, who finally responded to us Friday, Tommy Wiking is currently listed on filed paperwork as the president of IFAF.

However, the IFAF paperwork on file with the prefecture is not quite shipshape. The document AFI received as proof of Wiking’s presidency contains information contrary to positions stated and held by various current IFAF Executive Board members. The listing at the French prefecture is based on a document submitted by Wiking on December 15, 2015. It purports to be a list of the Executive Board over which Wiking presides. The list of persons of IFAF Exbo can be found at the bottom of this article.

Here it is clear that Wiking’s December document makes some patently false claims.

At least five of the country representatives who appear on the document – Japan, Denmark, Korea, Canada and Mexico – are aligned with the Noronen group and have refused to acknowledge Wiking as president after the IFAF Congress events of last July in Canton. And at least one of them, Richard McLean head of Football Canada, came out publicly denouncing him and Football Canada has thrown its support behind the Roope Noronen, who was elected at the IFAF Congress in Canton last summer.

In other words, the document on which he bases his claim to the presidency is full of inaccuracies and misinformation.

In the meantime, Noronen’s side has played its hand quietly. Nevertheless, the hand it has played has been misleading at best. Weeks ago, a statement legitimizing Noronen’s claim submitted to AFI was supposedly vetted by the group’s legal team. However, this seems not to have been the case given the response from the prefecture and a court order brought by Wiking has now disallowed Noronen from acting as IFAF president until of the courts make their final decision on the matter.

On Thursday, a first court hearing was held. Wiking’s group has been contending his presidency and has taken the Noronen faction to court in France.

In the meantime, an unknown number of federations delegates have arrived in Paris for Wiking’s Extraordinary Congress, supposedly to vote in a new IFAF Executive Board. The identity, quantity, or legitimacy of these delegates is unverified and unknown to the public.

In other words, Wiking’s group is moving forward acting as if there is nothing wrong while the other half of the international football community is waiting and wondering.

The Austrian federation has issued a third-party call for an Extraordinary Congress in an attempt try to heal the wounds and bring both sides together. More information of this to come.

One of Wiking’s staunch supporting federations had agreed to do a Q&A for this article but at the last minute, after receiving the list of questions backed out citing a lack of time. Wiking himself had declined a similar request a few weeks ago.

Uncertainty, to say the least, remains as the cloud of doubt hanging over IFAF continues to grow.

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