Olympics-American football closer to full Olympic recognition with IOC board approval

A view shows the Olympic Rings in front of the Olympic House, headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), during the executive board meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 28, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - American football took the penultimate step needed before it can attempt to get onto the Olympic Games programme on Wednesday when it got the approval of the International Olympic Committee's powerful executive board.

The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) will now need to wait for the approval of the decision by the IOC session in October in Mumbai, India.

"Full recognition of the IFAF is to be approved by the IOC session. It has fulfilled all necessary criteria to receive full recognition," IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said.

Among the criteria for new sports to be recognised by the IOC is universality as well as the number of existing national federations across continents.

"This proposal is a guarantee that IFAF’s strengthened statutes and operations meet the highest international standards," said IFAF President Pierre Trochet in a statement.

"We are optimistic regarding the vote of the IOC Session in October and remain committed to constantly evaluating how we can improve for the benefit of our athletes and our sport as it continues its rapid growth around the world."

Flag football, a non-contact format of American football played by teams of five, is trying to get onto the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics programme as one of the sports added by the local organisers.

American football had received preliminary recognition in 2013.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)

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