French official Pierre Trochet was elected as IFAF President last month ©IFAF

New International Federation of American Football (IFAF) President Pierre Trochet has argued a busy calendar of events in the next two years is an opportunity to "showcase what we are capable of" as the organisation pursues inclusion at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

IFAF is aiming for its flag football discipline to feature on the Games programme in the American city.

French Federation of American Football director of development Trochet was elected to succeed Canadian official Richard MacLean as IFAF President last month, with his first term running until 2024.

Speaking to insidethegames, Trochet admitted that there is much work to be done to pursue IFAF's Los Angeles 2028 ambition, but insisted he is confident that it can be achieved.

"Of course we are confident because we have to aim for the big goal, but the path is still long to go," the new President reflected.

"There are many, many steps that needs to be fulfilled before that.

"There's an ongoing process where we need to show all partners, WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency], the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and all stakeholders that we are a strong organisation, that we want to keep our governance straight, and that we want to also achieve some valuable events."

IFAF's calendar has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the previous two years, but it held its World Flag Football Championships in Jerusalem last month.

Flag football is set to make its debut at an international multi-sport event in July at the World Games in Birmingham in the United States ©Getty Images
Flag football is set to make its debut at an international multi-sport event in July at the World Games in Birmingham in the United States ©Getty Images

Its flag football discipline is also set to make its debut at an international multi-sport event at the Birmingham 2022 World Games in July, while the Women's World Championship in tackle is scheduled to be held in Finland.

Trochet believes that both events represent important milestones on the road to Olympic inclusion.

"We're going to have the World Games this year with flag football but also the Women's World Cup of American Football in Finland, and that's two major world-level events that we need to succeed," Trochet said.

"We need to show great events with clean sport, with the highest level possible, and also try to market those events as potential assets with high value for the future of IFAF.

"So of course LA28 is a goal, there's an opportunity obviously, but the path to go there is still very long and we still have a lot of work to achieve, and every small win over the next few months and couple of years will be very important."

With Germany recently confirmed as host for the 2023 Men's World Championship in tackle football, Trochet's first term is likely to be a busy one on the competitions front, and he recognised that the next two years will be pivotal to proving flag football's potential.

"It is a great opportunity for sure," Trochet said.

Pierre Trochet admitted
Pierre Trochet admitted "the path is still long" for inclusion at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, but claimed to be "confident" that the "big goal" can be achieved ©Getty Images

"COVID hit all of our members, speaking for Europe, speaking for Asia, speaking for Africa, we had a very large slowdown period regarding our activities, so 2022 and 2023 is a good moment to get back on track.

"We are the heart and the passion of our members, the heart of what we do is making our activities, American football and flag football, shine, and so of course competition is the best showcase for that.

"We're going to start of course with the World Games in 2022, then the Women's Tackle Championship, but we are also starting right now to work on what 2023 will be, because this will potentially be the biggest competition cycle at continent level in IFAF's history.

"We are looking forward to having some competition in Asia, in Africa, in South America, of course in Europe and North America, and then we're going to have another World Cup in Germany in 2023 in men's American football.

"So all of that will force us to work better, to work faster.

"It's an opportunity also of course for our daily business, and we're going to put that on the map to make it count and showcase what we are capable of."

The Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee is able to propose additional sports to be included at the Games, which will be considered by the IOC.

Skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing are set to be added to the core programme for 2028, with boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon omitted from the initial set of sports the IOC Executive Board has recommended.

All three were said to have pathways for inclusion, however.

As well as flag football, sports including cricket, flying disc, lacrosse and teqball have expressed an interest in featuring at the 2028 Olympics.