By Gary Anderson

A World Cheerleading Game Day Championship will take place during the IFAF World Championships in Sweden next year ©Getty ImagesA unique World Cheerleading Game Day Championship will be contested at the 2015 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Championships in Stockholm,it has been announced.

The partnership between the International Cheer Union (ICU) and the IFAF will continue the historically close association between both sports at the Championships in the Swedish capital which take place from July 4 to 18 next year.

The link-up will see cheer squads support and perform during their nation's American football games, as well as compete against the other national cheer teams for a 2015 World Cheerleading Game Day Championship title.

Ten teams have already qualified for the IFAF World Championships, including defending two-time winners the United States along with inaugural champions Japan, as well as Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, Mexico and Sweden.

Two more nations will complete the 12-team line-up when the qualification process concludes early next year for the fifth edition of the Championships first held in Italy in 1999.

Based in La Courneuve in France, the IFAF is a member of SportAccord and American football was added to the International University Sports Federation sports programme in March last year, with the inaugural Championships held in Uppsala, also in Sweden earlier this year.

Meantime, the IFAF, which has 64 members across five continents, was awarded provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee last December paving the way for possible inclusion at an Olympic Games in the future.

Defending champions the United States and 2011 runners-up Canada will be two of the teams competing in Stockholm next year ©AFP/Getty ImagesDefending champions the United States and 2011 runners-up Canada will be two of the teams competing in Stockholm next year ©AFP/Getty Images

Speaking about the link-up with the ICU, IFAF President Tommy Wiking said: "Cheerleading and American football obviously have a long history of working together; American football athletes on the gridiron, and cheerleading athletes in the same venue engaging the American football spectators.

"The 2015 IFAF World Championships will bring together both of these great sports at one event, promoting an atmosphere of national pride for both the American football and cheerleading fans in this uniquely historical and now famous game environment."

The ICU was accepted as a member of SportAccord at its General Assembly in St Petersburg last year.

Based in Memphis in the United States, the organisation has 104 members and holds its own World Championships at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

"Cheerleading is certainly a unique sport," said ICU President Jeff Webb.

"While it is very competitive from the competition aspect, cheerleading also has the ability to enhance the game experience for other sporting events.

"ICU values the great relationship we have with the IFAF organisation and IFAF President Tommy Wiking.

"We know that the 2015 IFAF World Championships will be a wonderful event for all of the competitors and we look forward to working together to help make this event a great experience for the fans."

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