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IOC rejects American Football... for now

Football Olympics

The IOC is in the process of picking a new sport Wednesday, or possibly just retaining wrestling, for the 2020 Olympics. And while we knew it wouldn’t be American Football, many of us hope that one day the gridiron sport will gain enough worldwide appeal to be included in the Games.

Well that dream took a bit of a hit Wednesday, when the IOC denied the IFAF application and refused to offer the sport its official recognition. And while it’s true that the NFL doesn’t need the IOC’s stamp of approval to continue raking in money, it would help to grow the sport globally.

“The expectation is that you would end up having more competitions,” NFL Vice President of International, Chris Parsons, told “You would see more and more leagues and that would generate incremental interest… It wouldn’t open the floodgates per se, but the argument would be a lot stronger as far as federations applying for local funding.”

The IFAF, which was founded in 1998 and currently represents athletes in 64 nations on six continents, will meet again with the IOC over the next 45 days to see if they can “strengthen its application for future consideration” before reapplying in October. Then they can hopefully start the process of helping American Football become a sport that’s loved as much overseas as it is in the States.

“American football’s burgeoning international athlete participation and appeal continues to propel the game on an exciting upward path,” Parsons added. “IFAF and the world’s American football family have great reason to remain inspired and energized by our ongoing dialogue with IOC leadership.”