NFL to back flag football bid for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics
The National Football League (NFL) international division chief operating officer said the league was in favor of adding flag football to the schedule for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.
Talk to ReutersDamani Leech said the NFL is ready to support the efforts of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) to bring flag football to the Games.
“To be clear, we definitely support IFAF and USA Football’s pursuit of flag football as an Olympic sport,” Leech said.
“IFAF will lead it.
“What we told them is you tell us how we can be supportive.
“We are ready to do that and to help in terms of influencing and aligning and bringing people together.”
Flag football is a non-contact variation of American football – the sport for which the NFL is the primary professional competition.
The United States is the male and female world champions.
It is part of the program for the Birmingham 2022 World Games, which marks the first time that the discipline has participated in an international multisport event.
The NFL will be the main sponsor of the competition in Alabama, with eight men’s and eight women’s teams slated to participate.
And after that, IFAF’s attentions could turn to another multi-sport event in the United States – Los Angeles 2028.
Again speaking to Reuters, IFA President Richard Maclean has said he is “very optimistic” that flag football will make an Olympic appearance in 2028.
“The global growth of the game that we think it can come from is tremendous; more people playing any version of football is good,” Maclean added to Reuters.
“The flag may be a way forward [football] for some people and it excites countries and communities in the search for Olympic medals, so for those reasons we think it’s great.
“It’s a way for people to connect with the game and obviously LA 2028 has a lot of unique factors that are interesting in terms of location in the US and timing.”
As a result of the reforms of the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020, host cities may propose potential additional sports to be added to the Games program.
For Tokyo 2020, baseball-softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing have been added to the schedule.
Paris 2024 chose to keep sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing for its Games, and also added station wagon for its Olympic debut.
Lacrosse and cricket are among the other non-Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024 sports that have been suggested to be included in 2028.