Intercontinental Football League
Intercontinental Football League ( IFL ) was the name of an experiment of the National Football League in the 1970s to establish an American football league in Europe daughter, similar to the World League of American Football / NFL Europe in the 90s. At a regular league play, it never came, however, demonstration tours organized by five games unterklassiger U.S. team by France, Austria and Germany in the summer of 1976 and 1977.
Already on May 27, In 1972, 42 NFL professionals ( including Dan Pastorini, Bob Hayes, Jim Kiick Jan Stenerud, Alan Page, Matt Snell and Merlin Olsen ) in Paris, " le rugby Americain " demonstrates, the result of NFL Bleu was against NFL Rouge 16:6.
In addition, a "Universal Football League" was, regardless of the NFL in 1973 planned with teams in Mexico and Canada, then in 1974 as the World Football League with 12 teams playing off the first World Bowl, but stopped operating in the 1975 season.
The idea of the League went by then kick- Scout of the Dallas Cowboys, the Yugoslavs Bob Cape, the (Horst Mühlmann, Toni Fritsch see ) had already fostered some European soccer player in the NASL, and to the Dallas Cowboys as a kick specialist, and the former president of the TSV 1860 Munich, Adalbert Wetzel, from. They planned for the spring of 1975, a game mode with six teams in two divisions and a putative European championship game. The NFL owners should like NFL Europe, to finance the start-up for the league and make the squad of clubs. Intended for the squad were as described in U.S. farm team system, athletes who had not yet become established as a regular force in the NFL, so rookies and substitutes; the IFL should also serve as the training of these players. So for Rome Italian Americans - - In addition a few well-known NFL players should be with reference to the home of the team as well as European talent will be engaged; Wetzel wanted to get some players from 1860 Munich for the Munich Lions at least as a placekicker. On June 5, 1974, the NFL adopted the plan Al Davis and Tex Schramm responsible for carrying out and fixed the Schedule for 1975; the six founding franchises were announced and also four more for an extension of the League for the following year. The Conquerors Istanbul, the Rome Gladiators and the Barcelona Almovogeres should form a Division, the Munich Lions, the Bears Berlin (West Berlin ) and the other division, the Vienna Lippizzaners. Both divisions were to play out in April and May in a double championship round each of the participants in the game to the " European ".
For 1976 were already the Lafayette Paris, the Copenhagen Vikings who provided Rotterdam Flying Dutchmen and the Milan Centurions as an extension of the league. Further expansion plans called for teams in Amsterdam, Madrid, London and Monaco before, but the start of the league by the NFL was first postponed due to the Cyprus War and the 42 -day players strike in the NFL and eventually abandoned. Other reasons for the failure of the IFL, the competition will have been through and seen the failure of the World Football League, as well as the poor economic development in the mid -70s (oil crisis ), even if Europe is not yet ready for professional American football.
Since the NFL had more interest in expanding to Europe in 1976 and 1977 plays two Urneen organized by Europe under the name of the IFL, also to evaluate the opportunities of American Football in Europe. In 1976, the college teams of Texas A & M University - Kingsville, the Javelinas, and the Henderson State University, was sent to Europe, where they played against each other five times in Austria, Germany and France. 1977 hired the IFL then two semi-professional minor league football teams, the Newton Nite Hawks and Chicago Lions played off in five games a " European ".
The club Gladiatori Roma, three times Italian runner-up in the 90's, grew out of the 1975 launched IFL franchise Rome Gladiators.