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Why is there no American football at the Olympic Games?

It cannot be denied that the turn of July and August is a great sports holiday, because the Olympic Games are held in Tokyo. As a result, for hours each day, other activities such as watching movies, using free spiny in online games are relegated to the background. We are excited by the performances of the best sportsmen in the world. However, many people may wonder why there is no American football at the Olympics?

Americans’ greatest sport

If we look at various sports competitions in the USA, we can immediately notice that the NFL and the university games are much more popular than the NBA, MLS, MLB. Football is a great celebration in America, attracting over 100 million viewers in North America alone during the Super Bowl. Therefore, for the people of the United States, American football is a cult, even sacred. At each Olympic Games, they fight with China or Russia for victory in the medal standings. They are great at athletics, basketball, swimming and other disciplines. Meanwhile, this great celebration of sports, which takes place every 4 years, is not related to football. What are the reasons for this?

What about football at the Olympic Games?

If we look at the current Olympics, there are a lot of new disciplines, such as climbing, BMX biking or even boarding. There is still no American football, although rugby 7, for example, is present. So what were the events and decisions that led to the fact that football is not present at the Olympic Games today?

Never before in the history of the Olympic Games have official American football matches been held. This one, however, was present twice. However, it was only at the time when the competition was held in the USA, and the matches themselves were played as an exhibition sport, not an official part of the Olympic Games. Already during the Olympic Games in 1904, held in St. Louis, 13 American football matches were played, where the University of Washington and the University of Saint Louis competed against each other. However, none of these matches have been officially registered as part of the Games. When the Olympics returned to the US in 1932, American football was re-incorporated as a demonstration sport. A match was then played between the Eastern and Western All-Star teams consisting of graduates of the best universities. It is worth mentioning here that although this match did not contribute to the popularization of sport in the world, it meant that between 1934 and 1976, matches were played as part of the College All-Star Game.

In recent years, however, a significant step has been taken towards the return of American football as an Olympic sport. In 2013, the International Olympic Committee registered the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) as a member. This allowed for voting to include American football in the Olympics in the future. However, in 2015, the commission did not allow such a step, so the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 were held without this sport’s discipline. The reason given was the 2015 IFAF World Cup, which took place with great problems and with fewer teams involved. Therefore, there were fears that also at the Olympic Games, there would be problems with, for example, completing 8 representations.

Currently, American football is considered again as a potential Olympic sport in 2024 or 2028. NFL stars are not allowed to participate in IFAF tournaments by law but may be able to participate in the Olympics. But will the NFL teams be willing to let their stars play at the event a month before the season starts? The federal authorities are therefore thinking about other proposals, such as the seven-by-seven format, which is represented in rugby at the Olympic Games. However, it is difficult for us to say today what the final decision will be.

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Mark is the founder and editor of XFL News Hub. The site was started in January of 2018, within days of the announced return of the XFL. Contact him directly by emailing

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