With Austria deciding not to play in the 2019 IFAF Men’s World Championships being held in Wollongong, Australia, who is left from Europe?
Futebol Americano Brasil’s Henrique Riffel takes a look.
Eight spots have to be filled for the 2019 IFAF Men’s World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, but only the Aussie hosts are guaranteed at the final stage.
In addition to the Australians, USA Football’s Team USA, the defending champions, have an automatic berth in the tournament, which will be played for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere. Together with the Americans, there are two spots for the European teams s which should be France and Austria, who reached the final of the 2018 IFAF European Championship this year. The French beat the Austrians by a score of 28 to 14, in Vantaa Finland.
Despite Gridiron Australia’s unprecedented role in bringing international competition to Oceania, the high costs of logistics to reach the Outback land can put European participation at risk.
Treasurer of Fédération Française de Football Americain, Jean-Pierre Trochet:
“At the moment our participation is questionable. We have just received financial details from IFAF regarding costs for hosting and meals. Also a competition on South hemisphere will force us to plan being in Australia several days before first game kick off, so it also has to be part of the plan.
“We will meet our sport ministry to pitch our cause and expect a potential funding on October. As a European federation, World Cup expenses in Australia could be upwards of 300,000 Euros ($340,000). This is an important investment for non professional and non Olympic sport. An other important point for us as a major European Federation is also our U19 program that will be a part of 2019 U19 European Championship. So both programs would have to play almost on same schedule.
“But to respect Australian Federation efforts in the last decade of being a part of several major events, we currently try our best to set up our finance and join their gridiron next summer.
“We’ll have to give our final decision before the end of 2018.”
Should France withdraw, now that Austria has opted out, the European berths in the World Cup would pass to the third and fourth place teams from the European Championship. Thus, the next in line would be Finland and Sweden who finished third and fourth, and then Great Britain and Denmark, the fifth and sixth place finishers.
The other four berths would normally go to Canada, Mexico, Japan and the winner from a South/Central American playoff. In 2015, this was Brazil.
However, at this point, all of this seems to be up in the air. Stay tuned.
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