Jamaica asked to host 2021 American Flag Football World Championship

Sport

Jamaica asked to host 2021 American Flag Football World Championship

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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JAMAICA could break new sporting ground next year after the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the global governing body for flag football, approached the National Tackle Football Association (NTFA), the local governing body for American football, about hosting the 2021 American Flag Football World Championship.

Jerome Harriott, founder/director of NTFA, told the Jamaica Observer he was contacted by Andy Fuller, IFAF managing director , about the possibility of hosting the event that could see upwards of 630 participants and an estimated 2,500 visitors to the island for the duration of the championships.

Flag football is the scaled down, non-contact version of the American version of football and is played in 71 countries, with its headquarters in France.

The United States are the defending champions, winning the 2015 competition that was held in Canton, Ohio, after Stockholm, Sweden, failed to get sufficient sponsorship.

The Americans had also won in 2007 in Kawasaki, Japan, and 2011 in Austria, while Japan had won the other two, in Italy in 1999 and Germany in 2003.

The dates for the event are August 9 to 15 and Harriott said they were hoping they would be able to use three venues in western Jamaica — Catherine Hall Stadium and Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium for the games, and Montego Bay Convention Centre for the congress meeting.

Harriott noted that if Jamaica was chosen, the IFAF World Championship would “fulfil the Government of Jamaica mandate of promoting Jamaica as a sports tourism destination, opening opportunities for Team Jamaica to present another success on the world stage, and advancement of the sport domestically and in the region”.

Jamaica could also field a team in the championships, and Harriott said the team could be chosen mainly from the NTFA competition that was played mostly between schools in central Jamaica and was won last year by Newell High School.

Asked about the possible impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the event, Harriott said, “The question of COVID-19 will always be a factor for the world moving forward. We are hopeful that we will have this pandemic under control at this time. All nations are focused on the safety of the athletes, fans, and everyone involved in the sport. The IFAF and NTFA will make the decision regarding COVID-19 with the absolute safety of the athlete and all involved as a priority.”


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