USA Football has become a member of the United States Olympic Committee ©USOC/USA Football

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has added USA Football to its formal list of recognised sports organisations for all forms of American football.

USA Football will subsequently have a seat on the USOC’s Multi-Sport Organisation Council, a group that includes the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Recognition gives USA Football an opportunity to promote the sport within and alongside other USOC members and, it is claimed, represents an important step in the evolution of American football as a international sport.

It comes less than two years after the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) was granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“The USOC stands among the most distinguished and respected organisations in all of sports,” USA Football chief executive Scott Hallenbeck said.

“Being welcomed into the USOC family is an important and exciting validation of our work and football’s future.

“This is a historic day for the millions of Americans who cherish the fun, physical fitness and life-enriching values gained through our sport.”

American football could one day feature at the Olympic Games
American football could one day feature at the Olympic Games ©Getty Images

In the past two years, USA Football has received significant funding from US-based broadcaster ESPN and the National Football League and also entered into formal partnerships with seven college football Conferences and more than 1,100 high schools in a bid to improve playing and coaching education standards through its medically endorsed "Heads Up Football" programme.

“We’re excited to welcome USA Football as the newest member of the USOC,” said Rick Adams, USOC chief of Paralympic sport and National Governing Body organisational development.

“USA Football delivers world-class experiences for its members and national team athletes, and we’re eager to see that continue as a member of the Olympic and Paralympic family.”

Speaking at SPORTELAmerica in Miami earlier this year, executive vice-president of the NFL Mark Waller welcomed the prospect of American football appearing at the Olympics, claiming it would be good for the sport.

The Briton admitted, though, it is more conceivable for flag football, a version of American football where instead of tackling players to the ground the defensive team remove a flag from the ball carrier to end a down, on the programme.

The IOC is set to decide whether to grant the IFAF full membership, meaning it could potentially bid to become part of the Olympic programme in 2024.

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