IAFA looks forward to a strong relationship with future organizers

The Irish American Football Association said in their annual general members' meeting last week that it has spent €40,000 on legal fees since 2012.

The Irish Examiner reports that in 2012, the IAFA threatened legal action against the US Navy ahead of its Aviva Stadium game with Notre Dame, claiming that Navy had failed to honor the terms of a sanctioning agreement it entered into with the IAFA ahead of the game.

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In 2016, IAFA initiated arbitration proceedings against the organizers of the Boston College and Georgia Tech football game which took place at the Aviva Stadium in September of that year.  The arbitration focused on legal fees the IAFA said it was owed by the match organizers. There were questions over whether the IAFA — as the governing body for the sport in Ireland — would sanction the game.

While both the 2012 and 2016 legal situations were resolved and the two football matches went ahead, the total sum of legal fees was only revealed at the annual meeting last week.

Now, the IAFA says it is looking forward to “collaborative relationship” with organizers looking to bring American football games to Ireland. 2020 will see a five-game series of American college football in Dublin, but the IAFA has said it “does not anticipate spending anywhere close” to the legal fees it has previously.

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“Since the conclusion of those disputes, IAFA has reached out to a number of American Football institutions, including Navy, and made clear that IAFA is very keen to grow the sport of American Football in Ireland, both domestically and using exciting new international opportunities.”

Sport Ireland has given IAFA €160,800 in National Governing Bodies Grants from 2012 up to and including 2018. It has received €23,000 in funding per year since 2016.

“Sport Ireland assists recognized National Governing Bodies of Sport to develop sustainable and effective structures to facilitate increased numbers of both participants and volunteers across a wide range of sports,” it said.

Navy v Notre Dame at Dublin's Aviva Stadium in 2012Getty