WLAF World American Football

International and Inter-League Gridiron Football has been played since at least the 1920s.

The first match that could be described as an International Gridiron or American Football match is the one between two AFL teams in Canada in 1926. Following this the NFL and AFL played a series of matches between the Leagues in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

In 1941 the first Canadian Football League v American Football League matches were held, and in 1950 the first match between a National Football League team and a Canadian Football League team.

Beginning in the 1970s, there were attempts at promoting American Football in Europe, through the Intercontinental Football League, and from there the World. In 1976 the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers played in Tokyo. In 1984 two United States Football League teams played in London, and in 1986 the first NFL American Bowl preseason game was held in London.

In 1999 the first World Cup was held, involving USA, Canada, as well as four other Nations which have to qualify through a series of matches.

In 2007 the NFL decided to promote the NFL in London, Mexico City and Toronto with the International Series of Regular Season games, which have run until the present

World Football Leagues

The First attempts at creating a European American Football League were in the 1970s following the hit film M*A*S*H and its climactic ending featuring an American Football game which intrigued European audiences.

Following on from this a couple of failed start-ups led in 1991 to the National Football League (NFL) creating the World League of American Football (WLAF) as a Development League. After two years with teams in USA, Canada and Europe it was shelved and returned in 1995 as a Europe-only league which itself was shelved in 2007 in order to promote the NFL itself in Europe through the International Series of NFL regular season games in London.

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World Football Leagues

European Football Leagues

World League of American Football

World League of American Football 1991-1992

World League of American Football (Seasons)

*Please also see the ELF Europe page for more on the WLAF after it became a Europe-only League from 1995 to 1997

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American Football Internationals

Whilst not strictly speaking International matches, the National Football League has also played matches against American Football League teams in the 1920s, 1930s, & 1940s. Matches between Canadian Football League teams and American Football League & National Football League teams were played in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. IN the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s the National Football League and other leagues played Pre-Season “American Bowls” in European Countries, as well as Canada, Japan, Mexico and Australia. From 2005 onwards those American Bowl games were replaced by Regular season National Football League games in London, Toronto and Mexico City. College Football games have also been played overseas, most notably for Irish readers and readers in Ireland, with the College Football Classic in DUBLIN.

nfl player holding u s a flag on field

Major Inter-League American Football

American Football League (1926); NFL v AFLs 1927-1936; NFL v Army 1942

American Football League International

American Football League International 1926

National Football League v American Football Leagues 1927-1942

National Football League v American Football League 1927-1928

California Winter League 1927-1928

Memphis Tigers | AAA Independent American Football 1929-1933

National Football League v Pacific Coast Football League 1936

Pacific Coast Football Leagues (Seasons): 1927 1928

National Football League v Army & College All-Stars 1942

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man wearing green american football jersey holding the ball while running on the field
man holding football while running
man playing american football on field

USA and Canadian Colleges Internationals

US College Division I Teams Abroad; US College Division III Teams Abroad; Global Football;

NCAA Division I Football Games Abroad:

NFL & NCAA Pre-Season Games in Ireland 1988-1997

NCAA Football | Regular Season Games in Ireland 2012-2016

NCAA Division 1A Freshmen Tours to Europe

NCAA D 1A Freshmen Tour of Britain (Results): 1998

NCAA Division 1AA Football Games Abroad

NCAA Division 1AA Yankee Conference College Football Games in Europe 1988-1989

NCAA D 1AA Tours to Europe (Box-Scores): Villanova Wildcats 28 Rhode Island Rams 25 Milano Kickoff Classic Italy 1989

US College Division III Football Games v World Opposition

Tazon Azteca (Aztec Bowl – Mexican v US American Football) 1947-Present

International American Football | Ireland v NCAA Division III Teams 2004-2005

International American Football | Irish Teams v NCAA Division III Teams 2007-2019

US College Division III Football Games Abroad

Intercontinental Football League College and Air Force Games 1972-1973

International American Football USSR 1989

Global Football NCAA v CONADEIP (Mexico) Tours to Africa (Seasons): 2011

Global Football NCAA D III Tours to Europe (Seasons): 2019

Canadian High School Tours of Europe

Team Canada HS Tour of Britain (Season Results): 1998

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man dragging down the opponent holding the football running on the field

Oceania American Football

Since the 1980s American Football Leagues have been organised in Australia & New Zealand, with State Leagues in each of Australia’s six states as well as the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) and Leagues in three of New Zealand’s Provinces.

In addition Australian States play for the Outback Bowl, and the Champions of each State and Territory play in the Southern Cross Tournament for the right to call themselves Australian Club Champions. New Zealand’s Provinces also play for the National Provincial Championship.

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man holding football

Africa American Football

The Egyptian American Football league is currently the only fully kitted contact American Football League in Africa, although there are Flag Football Leagues (Tag) in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. There was also a 9-man Football League in Morocco in 2019. There are Women’s Flag Leagues as well as Men’s.

american football ball field football

North African American Football

EFAF (Egypt); AMFA (Morocco)


EFAF Egyptian Federation of American Football

EFAF Egyptian National Football League (Bowl Games – Contact Football):

Egyptian National Football League Egyptian Bowl 2015-Present


AMFA Association Marocaine de Football Américain

AMFA Morrocan Football League (9-Man Contact Football)

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Flag Football World

Flag Football was invented in the 1940s as a non-contact version of American Football. The first Pro leagues were set up in the coming decades, with a America-wide League currently in operation with Regional Playoffs followed by a Final with a purse of $1 Million, which includes teams of former NFL players. Below you will find links to Top-Level Leagues Worldwide and International Tournaments:

american football ball field football

NFL and World Flag Football

NFL Schools Flag Championships; Big Bowl (Germany)

NFL Schools Flag Football Championships

NFL European Schools Flag Football Championships (seasons):


World Flag Football Tournaments

World Flag Football (Seasons):

Big Bowl (Europe / World): 2017

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