European federations present at a meeting in Rome have called on the IFAF to respond to two crucial measures ©IFAF Europe

European federations present at a meeting in Rome have called on the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) to respond to two measures they implemented as part of an attempt to reunify the sport.

The countries who attended the gathering in the Italian capital believe “no nations should be banned to participate and current bans should be lifted so all nations shall participate together” in terms of events due to be held in the near future.

This includes the 2017 European Under-19 Championships in France.

They also asked for a sport director to “be chosen by the group of the undersigned federations in order to organise together and coordinate any future competitions until final solution is reached”.

The official will then work together with the IFAF and IFAF Europe, it is hoped.

Those who were present at the meeting, which included representatives from Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Sweden, have asked that the points they raised be answered by both organisations who lay claim to the IFAF name.

This is despite the group led by IFAF President Tommy Wiking being recognised as the governing body for American football by the International Olympic Committee and umbrella organisation SportAccord.

The gathering of European nations was held as a result of the issues that have plagued American football in Europe and worldwide.

The decisions of the meeting in Rome were outlined in a letter ©AFI
The decisions of the meeting in Rome were outlined in a letter ©AFI

In September, two separate International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Congresses were held – one in Paris and one in New York City.

The IFAF Congress in Paris was chaired by Wiking, while Canadian Richard MacLean was elected President of a group described as being “renegade” at the meeting in New York.

Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and Ireland, all of whom support the IFAF under Wiking, did not attend the meeting in Rome.

Countries who do not recognise Wiking’s IFAF - Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain and Finland - were in attendance at the gathering at the Italian National Olympic Committee headquarters but are not set to compete at the European Under-19 event next year.

This would appear to be the reason for the European meeting urging the IFAF to not punish countries with bans from international competitions, regardless of which group they support.

“Having in mind the priority to make American football in Europe stronger and with the main motive to further promote this sport in Europe, the above mentioned national federations unanimously agreed that keeping national team tournaments functioning as a whole, together with all nations is an essential goal,” the Italian American Football Federation said in a statement.

“We strongly believe that it should be mandatory that all national teams are present in all European tournaments.”

Another gathering of European nations has been earmarked for Vienna in January or February.

Absentees in Rome could be in attendance.

“Considering the priority to find a common ground for participation in European competitions and to make another step to reach these goals, the above mentioned federations are asking both groups that claim the IFAF name to give their answers to points one and two in this statement within 15 days from the date of receiving this letter,” the statement added.