Austria has been confirmed as the host nation for the fourth IFAF Senior World Championship, which will be played in three cities in June or July of 2011.
The Austrian capital of Vienna will be the venue for the Gold and Bronze Medal games and the fifth and seventh place playoffs as the senior national teams of eight nations assemble in Europe. Two groups of four teams will play in the cities of Linz and Graz for a place in the medal games.
"We are proud and honored to be awarded the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship," said MICHAEL ESCHLBOECK, President of the American Football Bund Österreich (Austrian Federation of American Football). "Austria offers first class facilities for the teams and spectators who visit the games and has a great relationship with the media and television partners."
The United States will defend the title it won in Japan in 2003 at the fourth IFAF Senior World Championship and Austria will qualify automatically as the host nation. Six other berths will be decided by a series of qualifying games played between teams from continental federations in Asia (AFAF), Europe (EFAF), Oceania (OFAF) and Pan-America (PAFAF).
The United States is the reigning champion, but it is Japan that boasts the most storied history at the senior international level.
Japan won the first IFAF Senior World Championship played in Palermo in Italy with a 6-0 overtime victory over Mexico. Four years later in Frankfurt, Germany, Japan ran out 34-14 winners over Mexico. In 2007 on home soil in Kawasaki, Japan took the United States to double overtime before finally surrendering the world title they had held for eight years by a score of 23-20.
During the nine games of the 2007 IFAF Senior World Championship, more than 22,000 fans flocked to the host stadiums and almost one million people visited the official websites.