2009 Inaugural ‘IFAF Junior World Championship of American Football”

Games between the world’s eight best 19-and-under junior national teams will be played on Saturday, June 27, Wednesday, July 1 and Saturday, July 4, before the Championship Game is contested on Sunday, July 5.

Joining host nation the United States as an automatic qualifier will be Canada. The Canadians will hold the No. 1 seed with the U.S. claiming the No. 2 seed.

“We felt that Canada’s exceptional record in international junior competition during recent years warranted the top seed,” Wiking added. “The United States is recognized as the home of the sport and is expected to be a strong contender for the championship.”

Canada’s junior national team has consistently impressed on an international platform by winning the past three NFL Global Junior Championships, held during Super Bowl week from 1997 to 2007. They were also crowned champions in 2000.

Japan will fly the flag for Asia, while countries representing Europe are Germany, Sweden and France who finished first, second and third, respectively, at the 2008 European Junior Championship to qualify. Rounding out the tournament field, New Zealand will represent Oceania after defeating Australia in its regional qualifying game on Jan. 24, while Mexico will be the third Pan-American team following its win against Panama on Feb. 14.

The advent of a junior tackle tournament encompassing four continents and including a nationally selected team from the United States is truly unique in the world of junior international American football. However, several of the federations whose teams will compete in Canton boast many years of experience on the world stage. Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Mexico all took part in the IFAF-sanctioned NFL Global Junior Championship from 1997 to 2007.

The next IFAF Junior World Championship is scheduled for 2012, and it will be held every two years after that.

Source: USA Football

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