NFL planning to play international games in 2021

NFL: OCT 21 International Series - Titans at Chargers
Getty Images

The NFL canceled five international games in 2020 due to the pandemic. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the league intends to return to the United Kingdom and Mexico in 2021.

COVID-19, of course, will have the final say in whether that happens.

“We are planning for international games in ’21,” Goodell said. “That’s the approach we’re going to take. We obviously are going to stay in close contact with our partners in the U.K. and in Mexico and make sure that we are doing that safely. If at any point in time we don’t think we can execute on it safely, we will make that determination.

“We hope to get back there and we’re planning for it, and we’ll make that decision whenever we have enough information to do so.”

The NFL had four regular-season games scheduled in London and one in Mexico City in 2020. The cancelations meant Wembley didn’t host at least one regular-season game for the first time since 2007.

The NFL likely will make a final decision on its 2021 international schedule in May before the schedule release.

“Last year, I think we ended up deciding not to play the international games sometime right before the schedule was announced. I think it was in April,” Goodell said. “I think that was done after a lot of consultation, not only with our medical officials, but also looking at the risk with the Players Association of traveling the entire party over in a stadium that we weren’t able to implement our protocols. Not that they don’t have protocols, but we had very tight protocols at our stadium, and we felt it was safer in our 30 stadiums here in the country, where we knew those protocols were being implemented along and consistent with our policies.”

7 responses to “NFL planning to play international games in 2021

  1. That’s too bad. That was possibly the one good thing that came out of COVID was the elimination of those games

  2. I was against the international games until I attended the Eagles-Jaguars in London. It was a lot of fun teaching the game to a British guy and his son, and they were into the game throughout. They asked a lot of questions, and they helped me remember why I love the game so much. I would rather they add a 17th game and make all 16 games added neutral site games. Not just international, but say and Eagles-Steelers game in Happy Valley and split the tickets like they do for the Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl every year between Texas-Oklahoma.

  3. SMH…ridiculous…ppl still aren’t allowed to attend their children’s sporting events at high school or below….and we are gonna load up 150 ppl and ship them to a foreign country to play a game. Thats really optimistic… if not really idiotic.

  4. As much as I loved the London games (9am eastern time!!), I think it’s stupid to do this…..the virus will still be around and this puts people in jeopardy.

  5. They will say it is happening, sell all the tickets and then cancel it. You can make a lot of money on the interest alone.

    I’m a 17 year Jaguars season ticket holder and they are selling season tickets like there is going to be a full stadium in 2021. If the Players aren’t going to do in person off season activities how in the world are they going to have a full stadium? It’s just a money grab.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.