Flag Football and Cheerleading join The World Games Family

Flag Football and Cheerleading join The World Games Family

The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and the International Cheer Union (ICU) have now been given full membership status of the International World Games Associations (IWGA), which brings the number of Members to 40.

The IWGA Members have reviewed the two federations’ applications and the delegates voted to approve them today individually, on 1 May 2024, at the IWGA Annual General Meeting in Esslingen (GER).

Both top-notch disciplines, Flag Football and Cheerleading, will be included in the Chengdu 2025 sport programme. Flag Football was already part of the invitational sports programme in Birmingham in 2022.

Flag football - a short, fast and non-contact sport renowned as the most accessible and inclusive version of American football – will feature on the official programme of the Olympic Games for the first time in history at Los Angeles in 2028. Flag is spearheading exceptional worldwide participation in American football, with an estimated 20 million in more than 100 countries currently playing the discipline and youth audiences, women and girls and new international markets driving further growth.

Cheer is an engaging team sport. Elements of dance and acrobatics are combined with shouted slogans in order to entertain spectators at sporting events and to encourage louder and more enthusiastic cheering. The ICU was fully recognised by the IOC in 2021 as the world governing body for the Sport of Cheer and its disciplines and the global authority on all matters related to it.

President Perurena said “We are delighted that IFAF and ICU have been granted membership status of the IWGA. We extend our warmest welcome to The World Games Family to both International Federations. Flag Football and Cheerleading are two popular sports that will further enhance the appeal of The World Games sports programme and will contribute to the extraordinary growth of our event.”

IFAF President Pierre Trochet said "On behalf of IFAF, I would like to thank the International World Games Association, President Perurena and the IWGA Members for granting us full membership. The World Games has provided many landmarks for our federation and our athletes, from our Tackle game debuting in Duisburg in 2005 to the staging of Flag Football at the historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2022.

"Now, as a Member, we look forward to working alongside our fellow Members and the IWGA leadership team to deliver a fabulous event in Chengdu and to support the organisation in its aims in the coming years.”

ICU President Jeff Webb said, “ICU’s acceptance into the IWFA family as full members is an incredible milestone for millions of Cheer athletes worldwide, as well as for our coaches, officials, National Federations and Cheer enthusiasts on all continents. The ICU expresses its deepest appreciation to IWGA President José Perurena and the IWGA Members for the positive vote and the confidence in the ICU to be a valuable contributor to the World Games movement. As an IWGA Member, the ICU looks forward to delivering an incredible event in Chengdu and in future editions of The World Games for years to come.”

The International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-profit-making international sports organisation recognised and supported by the International Olympic Committee. The IWGA comprises 38 International Member Sports Federations. It administers and promotes The World Games (TWG), a multi-sport event held every four years that features around 35 sports on its programme. The next edition of TWG will be in Chengdu (CHN) from 7-17 August 2025. 5,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to take part in this 12th edition. The latest Games were hosted by Birmingham, Alabama (USA).

For more information, please contact the IWGA Media and Communication team: [email protected], Tel: +41 21 311 12 97, or visit our website.