IFAF JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2009, MEXICO CITY – The eighth and final berth at the inaugural 2009 IFAF (International Federation of American Football) Junior World Championship will be claimed this weekend when Pan-American rivals Mexico and Panama meet on the gridiron in Mexico City.
Host Mexico welcomes Panama to the Estadio Roberto Tapatio Mendez at Ciudad University in Mexico City for a winner-takes-all clash that will kick off at 2pm local time (3pm EST) on Saturday, February 14.
The victorious nation will become the third and final representative of the Pan-American region and will join the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden, France, Japan and New Zealand at the inaugural event. Teams drawn from four continents will take part in the tournament to be played this summer at Fawcett Stadium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio from June 27 to July 5. Final seeding and the tournament game schedule are to be confirmed.
“We are excited to see the qualifying stages come down to one final game for the right to compete in Canton,” said IFAF President TOMMY WIKING. “When we first announced that the world’s best junior players would converge on the United States for this historic event, there were 20 nations in contention and now we have seven qualifiers and one more to add.”
Panama won the right to face Mexico with a convincing 52-6 victory over the Bahamas in a qualifying game in Panama City on January 24. Mexico prepared for the game by holding practices at Campo de I.P.N. Zacatenco and Campo de Buhos in Casco de Santo Tomas.
Mexico will be represented by players from 17 teams or schools: Aguilas Blancas, Borregos Mexicali, Bucaneros, Buhos Patts, Cherokees, Cheyenes Culhuacan, Cheyenes I.P.N., Frailes, Gamos Cum, I.T.E.S.M. Campus Cd. de México, I.T.E.S.M. Campus Sta. Fe, I.T.E.S.M. Campus Toluca, Pieles Rojas, Politos, Redskins, Tigres CCH and U.V.M Guadalajara. The Panama roster consists of players from four major teams within its borders, the Falcons, Jaguars, Panthers and Stallions.
A delayed broadcast of the game will air in Mexico at 9pm CT on AYM Sports / SKY Sports Channel 502.
The two rivals last met in international junior competition in January 2007 when Mexico finished third and Panama claimed fifth place at the NFL Global Junior Championship in South Florida. Playing a mini-game consisting of two ten-minute halves as part of a six-team jamboree tournament, Mexico triumphed 6-0 thanks to two field goals.
2009 IFAF Junior World Championship Qualifiers:
PAFAF (Pan-American Federation of American Football): USA, Canada and Panama or Mexico (playing Feb 14)
EFAF (European Federation of American Football): Germany, Sweden and France
AFAF (Asian Federation of American Football): Japan
OFAF (Oceania Federation of American Football): New Zealand