Skip to content

American football receives provisional IOC recognition

Getty Images

American football should be in the Olympics. Eventually, it could be.

The folks at USA Football advise PFT that the International Olympic Committee granted the International Federation of American Football provisional IOC recognition during today’s IOC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The move, which reverses the IOC’s May 2013 stiff arm to the IFAF, means that a vote on adding American football to the Olympic games could happen as early as 2017.  If that occurs, American football would become a sport in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

(After this past weekend’s games, American football could be far more compelling as an event in the Winter Olympics.)

“IFAF is proud to receive this recognition and join the Olympic family,” IFAF President Tommy Wiking said in a news release forwarded to PFT. “The enduring ideals of sport that comprise the Olympic Charter reside in our game’s timeless values and in the spirit of the millions who love to play it.”

Sixty-four countries on six continents currently have national federations of American football.

During the most recent Summer Olympics, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told a certain Internet hack who was hosting a certain well-listened-to national radio program that American football “absolutely” should be among the many sports.  That development absolutely would help fuel the sport’s international growth.

While it would result in an easy gold medal for the United States in the first several Olympic games including football, more countries will become more competitive over time.

Until then, there’s always the bronze medal game.

Permalink 50 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill
50 Responses to “American football receives provisional IOC recognition”
  1. nolahxc says: Dec 10, 2013 4:45 PM

    Who dat say ‘dey gonna beat USA!?

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 10, 2013 4:45 PM

    Team Antarctica could beat the Lions. There’s not many of them, but they sure know how to move on the snow.

  3. suprinelolskins says: Dec 10, 2013 4:46 PM

    As pointless as basketball.

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 10, 2013 4:47 PM

    Starting Offense for Team USA…
    QB-Robert Griffin
    RB- Alfred Morris
    WR-Calvin Johnson
    WR-Pierre Garcon
    TE – Jordan Reed
    FB – Darrell Young
    T- Trent Williams
    T- Ryan Clady
    C- Nick Mangold

  5. multiplemiggs says: Dec 10, 2013 4:49 PM

    Dont be so quick to give USA gold. These players have no heart, or really care about playing for their country. All they care about is BLING and selling pot. Your quarterbacks might be the only ones who give a damn and it would be entire Flag Fest for taunting every complete pass or first down run or sack.

  6. bbb82 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:51 PM

    It would be cool to have it in the Olympics, but I just don’t see how you could play that many games in such a small time frame.

    One game a week is hard enough on the human body, but to have that many countries compete, you’d need a whole season of qualifying games before the actual Olympic events.

  7. turner1019 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:51 PM

    “While it would result in an easy gold medal for the United States in the first several Olympic games including football, more countries will become more competitive over time.”

    Ignorantly speaking sure.

    Although in international competition Canada has beaten USA in IFAF competition for the gold several times…

    Just because it is the only source of a big time professional league in the world, doesn’t make it an automatic win…

  8. 4thquartermagic says: Dec 10, 2013 4:52 PM

    Me thinks most of the talent pool would not want to sacrifice and offseason free of drug testing to sign up for the hardcore olympics testing.

    Just saying.

  9. ddjesus says: Dec 10, 2013 4:53 PM

    Don’t think many nfl players would want to risk a major injury for such little reward, I could see college players participating though.

  10. thepftpoet says: Dec 10, 2013 4:53 PM

    There’s already Olympic football…

    Have you seen the Vikings?

    They are a nationally historic team and are watched by the whole world for our greatness

  11. goalkeepr says: Dec 10, 2013 4:54 PM

    Before you start fantasizing about a Dream Team, realize there is a 0% chance that any NFL team would let a player participate.

  12. iceicebaby32 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:55 PM

    If I were an owner of an NFL team, I would say good luck getting any if my players to participate on the US team.

    Lombardi Trophy>>>>>>>>>>>Gold Medal

  13. blackandbluedivision says: Dec 10, 2013 4:55 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Dec 10, 2013 4:47 PM
    Starting Offense for Team USA…
    QB-Robert Griffin
    RB- Alfred Morris
    WR-Calvin Johnson
    WR-Pierre Garcon
    TE – Jordan Reed
    FB – Darrell Young
    T- Trent Williams
    T- Ryan Clady
    C- Nick Mangold


    You must really enjoy losing.

  14. 1rockyracoon says: Dec 10, 2013 4:57 PM

    1) A Division III team could beat any other country’s team.
    2) Softball was removed from the summer games because only 1 country would win the gold (Team USA).
    3) I wonder how much of a donation the NFL gave to the IOC.
    4) In 11 years the league schedule will be at least 18 games. Who is going to leave training camp and risk the wear and tear an Olympic tournament would take? Then, after the olympics they would have to play an entire season. Nobody of note would do this. Please don’t tell me about pride and honor. The Olympics are a money generating organization dependent on corporate sponsorships.

  15. fringetastic says: Dec 10, 2013 4:58 PM

    American football shouldn’t be in the Olympics, that’s stupid. It is a sport played competitively by two countries (being nice to Canada). That’s not nearly enough. The olympics aren’t there to foster growth of particular sports but to have competition in established sports.

    Although I am impressed with the NFL’s moxie, trying to get the IOC to be one of their marketing arms.

  16. hjb99992013 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:58 PM

    This is hilarious.

    My bad, I thought according at least to Roger Goodell, the Ravens were already world Champions.

    I cant wait until the USA puts together an all star team, and compulsive obsessive coaches lie awake at night trying figure out ways to stop the vaunted Bulgarian running attack, or the Polish pass rush, never mind the Norwegian arial attack.

    I hope the NfL does realize that the Olympics is only about 16 days in length, which is just longer longer than the break between the Superbowl and conference finals. It would interesting to fit a tournament is such a time frame when players are already complaining about playing on Thrs night

  17. wallyballz says: Dec 10, 2013 4:58 PM

    Olympics last 2 weeks. So either 8 teams qualify and play a bracket-type tourney, or you play games with 3 or 4 or 5 days rest. Yeah, only college players would play, but we’d still clean up…

  18. weepingjebus says: Dec 10, 2013 5:04 PM

    If you thought Triplette was bad, wait until you see the French refs.

  19. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 10, 2013 5:07 PM

    “Oh, and tell Karen the PR intern she left her wrist bracelets at the media center.”.

  20. kwjsb says: Dec 10, 2013 5:09 PM

    After last weeks games, The NFL Ref’s would fit in well with the I.O.C.’s ref’s and judges. They certainly know how to alter the outcome of a game …………

  21. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 10, 2013 5:11 PM

    Told about Olympic interest in the sport, most NFL players thought it would be fine except for having to compete nude or with those skimpy loincloths. Wearing the floral garland on their head was definitely OUT!

  22. tvguy22 says: Dec 10, 2013 5:12 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Dec 10, 2013 4:47 PM
    Starting Offense for Team USA…
    QB-Robert Griffin
    RB- Alfred Morris
    WR-Calvin Johnson
    WR-Pierre Garcon
    TE – Jordan Reed
    FB – Darrell Young
    T- Trent Williams
    T- Ryan Clady
    C- Nick Mangold


    So THAT’S why the Redskins stink. They only use 3 offensive linemen.

  23. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Dec 10, 2013 5:15 PM

    Never going to happen. Ever. If it’s in the Winter Olympics players won’t play because of just getting through with the season and they would have to practice for weeks leading up to it. If it ‘s during the Summer Olympics players would miss training camps.

    This is before we get into injury risks and as posted Olympic drug testing. You think it’s a coincidence HGH testing has been put off?

  24. bucrightoff says: Dec 10, 2013 5:17 PM

    Please stop this crap. North Americans don’t care or like soccer and non-North Americans don’t care or like football. Stop trying to sell these things to people who don’t care.

  25. steelersaregodsteam says: Dec 10, 2013 5:22 PM

    This won’t work.

  26. dmackie9 says: Dec 10, 2013 5:28 PM

    Hypothetical team USA 53 man roster

    QB: Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady
    RB: AP, Lesean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice
    FB: Marcel Reece
    WR: Megatron, Josh Gordon, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Devin Hester(returns specialist)
    TE: Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas
    OT: Joe Thomas, Nate Solder, Duane Brown
    OG: Louis Vasquez, Evan Mathis, Logan Mankins
    C: Alex Mack, Nick Mangold

    DE: Robert Quinn, JJ Watt, Robert Mathis, Tamba Hali
    DT: Jurell Casey, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, Justin Smith
    LB: Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Vontaze Burfict, Danny Trevathan, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis
    CB: Richard Sherman, Darelle Revis, Joe Haden, Aqib Talib, Patrick Peterson, Alterraun Verner
    S: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jairus Byrd, Eric Berry, TJ Ward

    K: Justin Tucker
    P: Andy Lee
    LS: Zak DeOssie

  27. handsofsweed says: Dec 10, 2013 5:31 PM

    I’ve got a better idea. Instead of this nonsense, IOC, why don’t you do something constructive and put WRESTLING back into the Olympics?

  28. bucrightoff says: Dec 10, 2013 5:35 PM

    Actually here’s the more realistic hypothetical US roster:

    All positions: Vacant, drug test failed.

  29. kwjsb says: Dec 10, 2013 5:41 PM

    I would just send the college NC,

  30. redemptionssong says: Dec 10, 2013 5:41 PM

    Sorry there are at least 10 other QBs that the USA team would take over RG3. At least he might make Japan’s team since he was born there. American football would be an awful Olympic sport. Goodell is trying to globalize the sport the way the NBA has but it won’t work. Other parts of the world have the original football or their own version.

  31. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 10, 2013 5:51 PM

    Football received “provisional recognition” from the committee. But they only really recognized Tom Brady, who they knew as the partner of Giselle Bunchden. Although they couldn’t recall his name.

  32. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Dec 10, 2013 5:51 PM

    Olympics are at their best when American college athletes with the spirit of their youth & enthusiasm are driving them to vie for gold (even & especially if other countries use professionals), rather than American professional athletes & a desperate populace try to validate themselves through a token gold. Its much more interesting to watch the youth & innocence rather than the millionaires!!!

    I pass on this whole current philosophy if we are talking professionals for football in olympic games …….. I’m looking at you NBA!

  33. pooflingingmonkey says: Dec 10, 2013 5:53 PM

    “And the field goal by Haushcka… to win the game and the Gold for America… from 47 yards… the kick is up… and it’s GOOD!!! America takes the…

    Wait! The Russian judge has waved it off? He’s only giving the kick a 9.2! Belgium takes the GOLD!

  34. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 10, 2013 6:14 PM

    The NFL has proven that they FEAR IOC/WADA level drug testing.

    IOC Drug Testing INCLUDES blood testing which both the NFL and NFLPA fear.

    The IOC issues a two year ban on 1st positive and life time ban on 2nd positive.

    Current NFL punishment is a joke.
    1st positive = 3 game ban
    2nd positive = 8 games ban (no salary)
    3rd positive = 1 year suspension

  35. bonniebengal says: Dec 10, 2013 6:15 PM

    Dec 10, 2013 4:47 PM
    tvguy22 says:
    Starting Offense for Team USA…
    QB-Robert Griffin
    RB- Alfred Morris
    WR-Calvin Johnson
    WR-Pierre Garcon
    TE – Jordan Reed
    FB – Darrell Young
    T- Trent Williams
    T- Ryan Clady
    C- Nick Mangold


    The earliest American football will be in the Olympics is 2024. Eleven years from now. RGIII will be 34. Better start looking at today’s high schoolers for the future US Olympic American Football Team.

  36. bonniebengal says: Dec 10, 2013 6:19 PM

    @dmackie9: In 2024, which is the earliest American Football could be in the Olympics, Peyton Manning will be 48 years old.

  37. omegalh says: Dec 10, 2013 6:37 PM

    Football in the olympics would awesome if the USA wasnt allowed.

    UsA could field 32 teams and still beat anyone so why ever have it:(

  38. j0esixpack says: Dec 10, 2013 6:43 PM

    I remember when Bowling was a trial olympic sport. That was awesome.

    You had these cut sprinters and divers standing there with their gold medals alongside the fat beer bellied American Bowling gold medal winner.

    It was like a victory for the average guy out there.

  39. geshtahl says: Dec 10, 2013 6:52 PM

    How many games are we talking here? I’d be concerned with the scheduling needing 3-4 games a week until the medal round. Brutal.

  40. granadafan says: Dec 10, 2013 7:17 PM

    Goodell’s greed knows no bounds. Soccer has a much better chance of succeeding (already is despite so many redneck dissenters) than football does in the rest of the world (minus Canada).

  41. anpsteel says: Dec 10, 2013 7:17 PM

    No way do NFL teams allow, or will NFL players risk the injury potential to play in an Olympic Football game(s).

  42. possumsauce says: Dec 10, 2013 7:58 PM

    So baseball, which is played with great enthusiasm and skill throughout North America, Mexico and Central America, northern South America, the Caribbean and the Far East, is NOT an Olympic sport, but football, which is essentially non-existent outside North America, is supposedly going to be some day? Sure, sure, I bet it’ll debut in the 2024 games, alongside NASCAR and catfish noodling.

  43. advocado5 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:24 PM

    To the people posting rosters …

    If the event happens it’s 2024. 11 years from now.

    Most of those players will be retired or out of their prime.

    If anything look at the freshman class of College.

  44. iamapatsfan says: Dec 10, 2013 9:36 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Dec 10, 2013 4:47 PM
    Starting Offense for Team USA…
    QB-Robert Griffin
    RB- Alfred Morris
    WR-Calvin Johnson
    WR-Pierre Garcon
    TE – Jordan Reed
    FB – Darrell Young
    T- Trent Williams
    T- Ryan Clady
    C- Nick Mangold


    Guards? we don’t need guards! We’re the 3-9 (or is it 3-10?) Redskins!

    As for American football becoming an Olympic Sport? Isn’t this why they got rid of baseball? Because there wasn’t enough competition to warrant it? It seems to me that football would be significantly worse off in the competition market than baseball.

    And I also voted up on the guy that said bring back wrestling. It’s one of the originals, as in ancient Greece originals, IOC. The fact that you dropped it proves you aren’t in it for the sport.

  45. albertmn says: Dec 10, 2013 10:00 PM

    Ridiculous to put football in the Olympics. There are only two options as to what will happen, and both stink:

    1) The pros won’t risk injury to play and everyone complains about the players that are sent and don’t watch.

    2) The pros are enticed to play and hit even less hard than the Pro Bowl.

  46. thegreatestofalltimes says: Dec 10, 2013 10:52 PM

    American Football in the Olympics?

    Never gonna happen for one reason. Besides the USA and Canada, there is not an American Football field in any other country in the world besides on military bases and occasionally at a few American foreign schools.

    Also, and saying this as a huge football fan, I’d wager that literally 99%+ of the world’s population neither knows any of the base rules and neither cares. Plus, with how popular the USA is with the world nowadays, I can tell you this is not even a pipe dream’s pipe dream.

  47. gmcgrath09 says: Dec 10, 2013 11:21 PM

    I know NFL owners won’t let their players play in the Olympics, but I know a certain Tebowner that would fit the bill…

  48. ivanpavlov0000 says: Dec 11, 2013 4:24 AM

    I don’t understand why US football “needs” to be an Olympic sport. The only purpose of adding US football to the Olympics is to promote the NFL.

    What’s next, Olympic Twinkee eating (to help promote Hostess products)?

  49. csilojohnson says: Dec 11, 2013 7:08 AM

    Bad idea. Players will never get past the drug tests. Wont work.

  50. wjarvis says: Dec 11, 2013 9:57 AM

    handsofweed, wrestling was reinstated already.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!