IFAF World Championship

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IFAF World Championship of American Football
Sport American football
Founded 1999
No. of teams 12 (from 2015)
Most recent champion(s)  United States (2nd title)
Most titles  Japan (2 titles)
 United States (2 titles)
Official website ifaf.info

The IFAF World Championship of American Football (also known as the IFAF World Cup) is an international American football competition held every four years[1] and contested by teams representing member nations. The competition is run by the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the international governing body for the sport. Of the 54 countries that currently field a national American football team, only 12 teams qualify for the championship. The championship has been contested four times since the inaugural 1999 tournament. The size of the tournament has expanded to the current 12 teams from an initial field of 4 at the 1999 tournament.

The defending champions are the United States, who won the 2011 championship after winning the 2007 edition in their first appearance. Japan won the 1999 and 2003 championships.

The championship was held in Italy in 1999, in Germany in 2003, in Kawasaki, Japan in 2007, and in Austria in 2011. The 2015 IFAF World Championship was originally going to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, however local organizers had to cancel the event due to lack of sponsorship.[2] The 2015 tournament is currently scheduled to take place in Canton, Ohio, USA.[3]

Tournament format[edit]

At the 2011 championship, the championship tournament consisted of eight teams divided into two groups of four (there were six teams in 1999 and 2007, four in 2003, and seven in 2015). The opening round featured a round-robin tournament within the groups, with each team playing each other once. However, as opposed to a tournament bracket after the games were completed, the teams with the best record from each group met in the gold medal game, with the second-place teams in each group playing for the bronze medal, the third-place teams playing in the 5th-place game, and the fourth-place teams playing in the 7th-place game, thus guaranteeing each team four games.

Automatic berths included the host nation and the defending champions. Both finalists from the European Federation of American Football tournament received berths. Two teams from the Pan American Federation of American Football received berths, as did one member each from the Asian Federation of American Football and from the Oceania Federation of American Football.

For the 2019 championship, the tournament will expand to 12 teams.[4] Teams will be divided into four groups, each consisting of three teams. Teams will play the other two teams in their group once each, for a total of two group-stage games. Teams will then advance to the second round, and from there to the placement and medal games.[5]

Because American football is far more dominant in the United States than anywhere else in the world, the United States did not field a team in the tournament for its first two editions. The United States did field a squad for both the 2007 and 2011 iterations, but with extremely restrictive criteria that make most American football players ineligible for the team. Despite the restrictions, the United States has won both world championships in which they have competed. Similarly, Canada (where Canadian football, a related sport, has widespread popularity) did not participate until the 2011 competition, when the Canadian team finished second to the United States.



Year Host Final Third-place match Number of teams
Winner Score Runner-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1999 Italy

6–0 (OT)

2003 Germany


2007 Japan

United States
23–20 (2 OT)

2011 Austria

United States

2015 United States
United States


Cody Hawkins, quarterback of the United States 2011 World Championship team.
Team 1999
 Australia 5th 8th Q
 Austria 7th
 Brazil Q
 Canada 2nd Q
 Finland 6th
 France 4th 6th 6th Q
 Germany 3rd 3rd 5th
 Italy 4th
 Japan 1st 1st 2nd 3rd Q
 Mexico 2nd 2nd 4th Q
 South Korea 5th Q
 Sweden 3rd 4th
 United States 1st 1st Q


Pos. Team Champion Runner-up Third Fourth
1st  Japan 2 (1999, 2003) 1 (2007) 1 (2011)
2nd  United States 2 (2007, 2011)
3rd  Mexico 2 (1999, 2003) 1 (2011)
4th  Canada 1 (2011)
5th  Germany 2 (2003, 2007)
6th  Sweden 1 (1999) 1 (2007)
7th  France 1 (2003)
8th  Italy 1 (1999)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IFAF Senior World Championship". International Federation of American Football. Retrieved 21 October 2011. The IFAF Senior World Championship is held every four years having first been contested in 1999. 
  2. ^ http://stockholm2015.org/world-championship-moves/
  3. ^ "EIGHT TEAMS TO BATTLE FOR THE IFAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN CANTON, OHIO". International Federation of American Football. Retrieved 16 February 2015. The 2015 IFAF World Championship will be contested in Canton, Ohio between the 8th and 19th of July with all games staged at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. 
  4. ^ "SWEDEN TO HOST 2015 INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL SENIOR WORLD". International Federation of American Football. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011. Sweden will host the 2015 International Federation of American Football Senior World Championship when the national teams of 12 countries from four continents converge on the capital city of Stockholm. 
  5. ^ "SWEDEN TO HOST 2015 INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL SENIOR WORLD". International Federation of American Football. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011. At the 2015 tournament the 12 teams will be split into four groups of three for a round robin stage leading to the second round and then placement and medal games that will take place during 10 playing days with rest days in between. 
  6. ^ a b "STATISTICS". Federazione Italiana American Football. Archived from the original on 3 June 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "SCHEDULE". German Football Partners. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Japan(20)-USA(23)". Japan American Football Association. Retrieved 21 October 2011. Kicker/punter Craig Coffin nailed a 23-yard game-winning field goal in the second series of overtime to help the tournament debutant U.S. team grab the first championship with the 23-20 victory over the host Japan in the 3rd IFAF World Championships at Todoroki Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 
  9. ^ "Sweden(0)-Germany(7)". Japan American Football Association. Retrieved 21 October 2011. Marcel Duft returned a punt for 85 yards for the game’s only touchdown with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter and Germany defeated Sweden 7-0 to win the bronze medal of the third IFAF World Championship on Saturday at Kawasaki Stadium. 
  10. ^ "USA defends SWC title". American Football Bund Österreich. 16 July 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2014. USA won the gold medal at the IFAF World Championship against Canada with a score of 50:7 in front of 20.000 fans in Vienna, Austria. 
  11. ^ "Japan earns bronze medal". American Football Bund Österreich. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011. A blocked field goal in the final seconds of the game for the 3rd place at the IFAF World Championship saved the bronze medal for Team Japan.