Football – American football, that is – is not currently in the Olympics. The NFL hopes that might (somehow) change soon. The league is working to bring flag football into the Games, and there’s a chance that might happen.
In 2013, the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized the international football federation, but no progress has been made since to bring the sport into the Games. To be included in the Olympics, sports “must have broad international representation,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in 2015 when meeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Unfortunately for football fans who want to see the sport at the Games, Bach also said, “What I don’t see in football. It’s a very American sport.”
A year after these comments, football applied to be included in the Tokyo Games, but did not even reach the stage of a proposal to the IOC. Instead, baseball-softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing were offered and all accepted. In the next Paris Olympics in 2024, the new sports are skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing have been approved again, as has breaking, so football will not be an option for these Games.
That leaves the 2028 Los Angeles Games as the next time football could make an effort to be included. The committee for these Games has yet to announce which sports they will add.
“As we review other sports recommendations, we will continue to focus on sports relevant to Los Angeles, delivering an incredible fan experience and contributing to the success of the Games,” said LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman. said in December, according to NBC Sports. “We want to build on tradition, while pushing the Olympic Games forward.”
Football is very relevant for Los Angeles right now, as the hometown Rams won Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.