The 9th of March was a historic day for international and university American Football as the International University Sports Federation (FISU) announced a partnership with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) to put everyone’s beloved game onto the FISU sports programme.
Along with this announcement it was also revealed that the very first World University Championship (WUC) in American Football would be held in Uppsala, Sweden in 2014.
With the GB Students off to Uppsala on the 6th of April to face Sweden themselves, Double Coverage secured a couple of interviews with the key figures organising the event in Sweden to discover some specifics about the very first WUC and what that will mean for students in the future.
Ross Watson posed questions to both Martin Söderberg and Josef Åhman. Martin is the Project Manager of the WUC and a key figure within the Uppsala 86er organisation whilst Josef is the Secretary General of the Swedish University Sports Federation and has worked closely with the FISU in organising the event.
Double Coverage: What kind of facilities are you going to be able to offer the incoming teams for the tournament?
Martin Söderberg: There will be two practice arenas. One indoor (not full size). Both turf. Qualification games will be played at an arena with a capacity for approximately 2500 spectators, which is also turf. The semifinals and finals will be played at Studenternas with a capacity of 8000 spectators and will be played on grass.
DC: How many games are going to be played per day?
MS: At the most, two mens games and two womens games per day. The women games will not take more than 90 minutes each.
DC: Are you looking at getting the tournament televised or webcasted?
MS: Every game will be live on the web and a few probably televised.
DC: Obviously you have one of the top teams (the Uppsala 86ers) and practice facilities in Sweden, but is there anything extra that you’re bringing in for the World Championships?
MS: When it comes to arenas it will be satisfactory but not exceptional.
DC: Why do you think Uppsala was chosen as the destination for the World Championships?
MS: We have a long history of American Football (in Sweden that is) and we are used to hosting sports events as well as having the connection to the University.
DC: Do you think the World Championships will get more people in Upppsala and Sweden interested in playing the game?
MS: Absolutely. We are already preparing to get more coaches to take care of the "invasion" of new players.