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Football: Ready to Cross the London Bridge?

6 May, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher
UK Organization Reportedly Making New Soccer Facility NFL-Ready

Don’t go buying the season tickets or looking for the cheerleader tryouts yet, but if reports are to be believed, the Tottenham Hotspur organization is looking into making their facility football-ready.

That’s football, y’all. American football.

The Telegraph has reported that the organization isn’t committing by making any comments, but officials have researched incorporating a retractable artificial field into their new stadium plans that would give them the green light to become the London home of a new NFL franchise.

As revealed by the Telegraph early in 2015, Tottenham’s new £400million stadium is being looked at by the NFL as a potential venue for a London-based team. The NFL has been playing exhibition games at Wembley since 2007, and there has long been talk of expansion.

According to the newspaper,

The biggest challenge for the NFL in wanting to use Tottenham’s new stadium would be ensuring the (soccer) surface would not be damaged (by football).

But it is understood that ‘Spurs have now investigated the possibility of including a sliding artificial pitch that would be used for NFL games and allow them to protect the grass (soccer field).

Roy Hodgson, the England manager, complained about the Wembley surface after two NFL games were played on it ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia last year.

Tottenham hopes to be in their new stadium for the 2018-19 season, which is around the time experts have predicted a London-based NFL franchise will be formed.

The 'Spurs previously denied that they were in talks with the NFL, but a club spokesman this week confirmed Tottenham are “looking at options” in order to “future-proof the design."

The Telegraph also stated: "It is widely anticipated that an NFL team will eventually relocate to London, with the Jacksonville Jaguars, owned by Shahid Khan, who bought Fulham in 2013, suspected as the potential team to move."

This is an area in which American fans, particularly those from Jacksonville, and the British will likely disagree.

Setting aside for now all worries about American NFL teams moving out of the country, it is essential to note that other countries do field football teams presently -- although admittedly, it's a niche sport in many of those areas. The fifth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Senior World Championship is this July in Canton, Ohio. Eight national teams will compete during four rounds of play to earn the gold medal. The field will include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United States, the two-time defending champion. As the sport’s national governing body, USA Football assembles America’s national teams for international competition and will serve as tournament host.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted IFAF provisional IOC recognition in December 2013. A vote on football becoming an Olympic sport could take place as early as 2017. USA Football says that if approved, football could join the Summer Olympics lineup in 2024 at a host city yet to be determined. However, adding new sports to the Games is a politically-charged process, fraught with problems. Those who want to see international football should probably think of Ohio this summer rather than pinning their hopes on Olympic travel.

The fifth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Senior World Championship is this July in Canton, Ohio. Eight national teams will compete during four rounds of play to earn the gold medal. The field will include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United States, the two-time defending champion. As the sport’s national governing body, USA Football assembles America’s national teams for international competition and will serve as tournament host.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted IFAF provisional IOC recognition in December 2013. A vote on football becoming an Olympic sport could take place as early as 2017. If approved, football would join the Summer Olympics lineup in 2024 at a host city yet to be determined.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted IFAF provisional IOC recognition in December 2013. A vote on football becoming an Olympic sport could take place as early as 2017. If approved, football would join the Summer Olympics lineup in 2024 at a host city yet to be determined. - See more at: http://www.sportsdestinations.com/destinations/ohio/news/usa-football-host-eight-nation-international-tourn-9085#sthash.XAzD4s5K.dpuf

The fifth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Senior World Championship is July 9-18 in Canton, Ohio. Eight national teams comprised of men age 20 and older will compete during four rounds of play to earn the gold medal.

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