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IOC provisionally recognizes International Federation of American Football

Football Olympics

Dreaming of NFL players in the Olympics?

While any possibility is far, far away, the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized football’s international sports federation Tuesday.

“On behalf of the IOC, we are delighted to welcome the IFAF [International Federation of American Football] into the Olympic Family,” said IOC sports director Christophe Dubi, according to a press release. “The federation has long demonstrated strong youth appeal and are making great progress in developing their sport around the world. We trust that this provisional recognition will generate momentum in the further universal development of their disciplines.”

What does this mean?

IOC recognition is an early step before being able to attempt becoming an Olympic sport, one of many steps. Many other sports with a long shot of making it on the Olympic program are currently IOC recognized, including auto racing, chess and tug of war. Football has a long road ahead if it decides it has Olympic aspirations.

This move comes seven months after the IOC rejected the IFAF’s initial application to be recognized.

Football’s only appearance at the Olympics was as a demonstration sport in 1932. It has since grown globally to a certain degree with international leagues, NFL games in London and Toronto and players drafted from Ghana and Tonga.

The IFAFA was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in France.

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