A total of 13 European countries have confirmed their attendance at meeting in Rome tomorrow as in an attempt to help reunify American football.
Austria, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Israel, Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden will join hosts Italy at the meeting organised by the Italian American Football Federation (FIDAF), according to the American Football International website.
The gathering is being held as a result of the issues that have plagued American football in Europe due to the ongoing split within the worldwide governance of the sport.
In September, two separate International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Congresses were held – one in Paris and one in New York City.
During the Paris Congress, led by IFAF President Tommy Wiking, made a number of decisions which led to the IFAF Europe leadership, including former vice-chairman Gregor Murth, to quit in protest.
Wiking’s group then reinstalled a Continental organisation under the statute changes they initiated and it is hoped the meeting at the headquarters of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) will go some way towards resolving the issue.
According to reports, the alterations made at the IFAF Congress have rustrated some of the European membership of the governing body.
The meeting is being chaired by Romeo Tjoe-A-On of The Netherlands and Spaniard Javier Carrasco – two members of the former IFAF Europe.
It will not be attended, however, by Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and Ireland, all of whom support the IFAF under Wiking.
Countries who recognise Canadian Richard MacLean as the President of the IFAF - Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Norway, Israel and Sweden – are all set to take part.
Wiking, however, is recognised as the legitimate President of the IFAF by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord.
A total of 54 nations attended the IFAF Congress in Paris, while only 20 were in attendance at a meeting in New York City.
Those who claim MacLean as the head of the IFAF have been dismissed as a "renegade" group by Wiking.
"This is an extremely important occasion for all the parties involved to discuss and resolve all the issues concerning the future of our sport in Europe, which is why President Orlando (Italy) has been working for weeks to ensure the meeting delivers the desired outcome," the FIDAF said in a statement.
"The meeting to heal the rifts in European football is being held at the headquarters of CONI in Rome on November 26."
The IFAF failed to respond to a request from insidethegames for a comment.