An initiative of German national federation AFVD directed to a new level of cooperation in international American Football has succeeded: Tommy Wiking, President of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), and Robert Huber, President of the AFVD, issued a joint „Frankfurt Declaration“ in which the German federation and the world's governig body define mutual goals for future development of international American Football. The signing of the document at Frankfurt amongst others was attended by Shigeyuki Watanabe from Japan, in charge for IFAF's international tournaments, and the Presidents of the Finnish and French national federations, Roope Noronen and Marc-Angelo Soumah, who were welcomed at Frankfurt by the AFVD board.
Key issues addressed in the document aim to give athletes around the world better perspectives in international competition as well as an overhaul of IFAF's decision-making processes. The successful European American Football national federations will have more direct involvement into IFAF's structures and the exclusive authority to decide on European competitions. IFAF will warrant that all proceeds of Europan compettions will solely be used to benefit European athletes and fully be reinvested in Europe.
IFAF currently unites 64 member federations, about half of these from Europe. Aside of the U.S. and Japan the biggest and most successful organizations - like the German AFVD - are based in Europe. In an effort to be able to benefit of the recently achieved status as an IOC recognized federation IFAF in recent past has been committed to reform its organization. Up to now this was done with a focus on the situation outside of North America and Europe, where structures for American football are not as highly developed as in Europe.
Since then, AFVD and many other European federations were searching for ways to better implement their expertise into IFAF's routines. Now IFAF has accepted a special position of the European federations: Their delegates will regularly meet within Europe, in years when IFAF Congress is held on other continents there will be separate meetings of the representatives of European national federations to discuss European matters.
By signing the „Frankfurt Declaration“ IFAF honours AFVD's outstanding position as leading European federation. About half of all European American Football players stem from Germany, their interests will again be adequately represented by IFAF in the future . The world's governing body has realized that further development of international American Football only can succeed in close joint efforts with AFVD. The German federation is willing to shoulder its responsibilities as the largest European national federation in American Football and will provide its expertise in service of the global American Football movement.
All European competitions for clubs and national teams will be carried out as planned. It will be ensured that all organizational matters for these competitions will be decided by European federations, financial provisions will be determined by experienced European personnel. Existing European resources will be used to promote American Football in Europe. Specifically IFAF President Tommy Wiking confirmed, that he shares the concept of AFVD's September 2012 "Berlin Declaration" in regard to the need for a self-determined organization of American Football in Europe.
Robert Huber und and Tommy Wiking signing the Frankfurt Declaration - Standing (left to right): Josef Andres, Michel Daum , Marc Angelo Soumah, Shigeyuki Watanabe, Roope Noronen, Thomas Meyer