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Football could be an Olympic sport by 2024

Dec 10, 2013, 4:49 PM PST

Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

American Football could become an Olympic sport as soon as 2024.

On Tuesday, the International Federation of American Football was granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee, in a meeting that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland. The provisional recognition paves the way for a vote that could take place as early as 2017. If it’s met with approval, football would be played at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

It’s hard to imagine many other countries standing a chance in competition against a U.S. football “Dream Team,” but the game is steadily growing internationally. American football is currently played in 64 countries on six continents.

You wouldn’t have to look any further than the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers to find international players. Raiders tackle Menelik Watson and 49ers defensive end Lawrence Okoye are from the U.K., and Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski is from Poland.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been very committed to making our brand of football a worldwide sport. The 49ers have played in London, England twice in the past five years, and the Raiders will be facing the Miami Dolphins in Wembley Stadium on Sept. 28, 2014.

Seeing as how American’s can’t get enough football, imagine how cool it would be to watch some of the game’s elite players teaming up together to compete for gold medals. It sure beats the Pro Bowl.

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