Could football, the American brand, soon be a part of the Olympic Games?
If the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) has its way, it will be soon.
The IFAF has applied to have the game recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and hopes to have the competition accepted by the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 2012 London Games had just 26 events after baseball and softball were eliminated as Olympic sports. The 2016 Summer Games in Brazil will feature 28 after rugby and golf were reinstated in 2009.
The possibility of American football becoming an Olympic sport is pretty low, but it is intriguing.
Would the USA team be comprised of amateurs like its basketball team was prior to 1992. Would the NFL allow or encourage its players to participate, as the NHL does for the Winter Olympic Games? And if they did, would players risk their livelihoods for national pride?
The IFAF seems to think the move would be overwhelmingly positive.
In a statement on its official website on Saturday, the body said: “The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has received applications from 26 IOC-recognised International Federations (IFs), including IFAF, proposing events to be considered for inclusion at Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
“The Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel will now examine each application and a shortlist will be established which will lead to a further phase of review
“Phase II will include the submission of further details from the shortlisted IFs and a presentation to the Additional Event Programme Panel will take place in Tokyo.
“The Additional Event Programme Panel will propose its recommendations to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, which will make a final decision on the successful event(s) to be proposed to the IOC.
“The final decision, in line with the Olympic Charter, will be made by the 129th IOC Session in Rio in August 2016.”