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Flag soccer set to be included at Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 – The Mercury Information

By EDDIE PELLS |  AP Nationwide Author

First, Taylor Swift. Subsequent, the Olympics.

The NFL’s ongoing push for worldwide publicity obtained one other enhance Monday when organizers for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics delivered a proposal to place flag soccer on this system when the Summer season Video games return to america for the primary time in 32 years.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee will vote on the proposal at conferences in Mumbai, India, that start later this week. Additionally on the L.A. proposal have been baseball and softball, which have been bouncing on and off this system for many years; lacrosse; squash; and cricket – a becoming distinction to flag soccer in that it’s nearly unknown in america however immensely well-liked over vast swaths of the globe.

L.A. chairman Casey Wasserman stated the brand new sports activities are “related, progressive and community-based, performed in backyards, schoolyards, group facilities, stadiums and parks throughout the U.S. and the globe.”

Although participation numbers have been declining, there isn’t any greater spectator sport within the U.S. than soccer. Bringing its less-violent cousin into the Olympics would mark an enormous victory for the NFL, which has been staging a handful of video games in Europe for greater than a decade now and is all the time in search of methods to develop each its participation and its viewers past western Europe and the U.S. One in all this season’s largest tales – one the NFL eagerly latched onto – has been pop megastar Swift’s journeys to 2 Chiefs video games to look at her buddy, tight finish Travis Kelce.

“The NFL is such a uniquely American sport and that is their massive, world attempt,” stated Dan Durbin, the director of the Institute of Sports activities, Media and Society at USC. “The NFL dominates within the U.S. You get 10 miles into the Atlantic or Pacific and it disappears. This provides it an opportunity to make it seen to a world viewers.”

Flag soccer, by which “tackles” are made by pulling a flag off a belt worn by every participant, could be a 5-on-5 affair performed on a 50-yard subject. There aren’t offensive and defensive linemen. On the World Video games final yr, the U.S. males received the gold medal whereas the ladies fell to Mexico within the ultimate.

Whereas flag soccer will really feel acquainted to the house followers, cricket can be a steep studying curve. It’s nearly an entire thriller in america. Bringing a sport with no roots in America onto this system might be seen as a sweetener for locations the place it’s well-liked, comparable to Australia, which is internet hosting the Olympics in Brisbane in 2032, and possibly even India, which is seen as a possible host of the video games sooner or later. A sport known as Twenty20 – a shorter model of the unique sport – is proposed for the schedule in Los Angeles. Cricket was performed as soon as earlier than on the Olympics – in Paris in 1900.

“It’s a way of diplomacy in that getting cricket in there makes it appear to be you’re getting a broader spectrum of sports activities,” Durbin stated.

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