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Football Out Of Running For 2020 Olympics


Well, it was fun while it lasted. The wholesome pipe dream of one day seeing American Football played on a worldwide plane will have to sit on the backburner a little while longer, with football failing to make the shortlist of sports to be considered for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Bowling, karate, roller sports, climbing, baseball, softball, squash, surfing and wushu (a Chinese form of martial arts) were all named finalists during an International Olympic Committee press release on Monday. Representatives for each of the contending sports will make presentations in August, with final decisions coming from the IOC approximately one year later.

Baseball in particular should be met warmly, given the sport’s popularity in Japan and the box office draw that would come from seeing the world’s best players compete against each other in one grand spectacle.

In contrast, football only really has a strong foothold in one country. Without meaning to state the explicitly obvious, any sort of competition on a global scale would just serve as a thinly veiled farce designed to net the US an easy gold medal.

Combine that with the fact that the NFL would never permit its uber-protected star athletes to compete in a meaningless tournament half a world away, and it’s a little easier to accept why the proposal was canned.

Football joins such other gruelling contact sports as chess, bridge and lawn bowls, among others that didn’t make the cut. Not that we’re bitter or anything. Perhaps the world will realise what it’s been missing by 2024.

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