American Football Association of Finland
American Football Association of Finland – SAJL for short – was founded in 1979 in Helsinki, Finland. The sport was brought to the northern nation through high school student exchange, the teens who fell in love with the sport during their exchange year in the USA started to organize in the 1970’s in order to form teams, play games and create leagues.
Currently the American Football Association of Finland has 33 member clubs and over 3000 licensed players playing in men’s (4 divisions) and women’s (3 divisions) leagues, as well as in six different youth categories U9-U20. In addition to tackle football, SAJL is also responsible for flag football activities in Finland. The men’s and women’s national teams (organized under the SAJL) are the most successful national teams in Europe, and Finland is the only country to have participated in all European championships in the sport since 1983.
SAJL is a member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and member of the Finnish Olympic Committee. SAJL is also committed to anti-doping program through FINCIS – Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports.
Experienced Championship Host
The Finnish Association of American Football is an experienced host of international games, having hosted Nordic Championships, European Championships and World Championships over the years. In 2013 Finland had the opportunity to host the Women’s World Championships that featured six teams across the world; Canada, Spain, Sweden, United States, Germany and Finland.
The United States left the tournament as Champions, Canada took home silver and Finland ended up claiming the bronze medal in the tournament. After the competition concluded in Myyrmäki Football Stadium, the next time women would battle for the world championship was in Canada in 2017.