Dear football friends,
As you all know, there will be two IFAF World Congresses held on the same day this weekend, making it impossible for us to attend both as we initially planned. Therefore, we’ve decided to attend none. This is also due to the fact that we are one-email-to-the-bank away from having IFAF Europe’s account blocked again, effectively making our work impossible.
In the past two years since we’ve been elected, we tried our best to improve the state of football in Europe and to focus not only on the progress of IFAF Europe, but also on development of national associations, club teams and all other participants through various competitions and programs. We have stabilized the budget, paid off inherited debts and we’ve transformed the European federation into a financially stable and transparent system of functioning. Likewise, we have helped increase the number of participants and reached record numbers in existing national and club team competitions. We’ve also enacted the creation of new competitions, such as Women’s European Championship and Flag Football U15 EC, and improved existing ones, of which most notably the Champions League, whose Final Four tournament was broadcasted in 12 countries this year. We did all this with no membership fees, while keeping participation costs for all competitions as low as possible. We have had a number of coaching clinics in IFAF Europe, and we’ve established the office with prompt and clear replies that became a service for our members like we initially planned and set out to do.
Football was our primary focus and this was the sole reason we accepted the nominations in Kuwait. We’ve taken our work very seriously and in the past two years there was only one official complaint from one of the members dealing with our work that was actually caused by the blockage of the IFAF Europe’s bank account. However, focusing only on football development, while being caught in the middle of a political battle in IFAF World, is becoming an insurmountable difficulty. Dealing with it took a lot of our energy and time in the past year. Until now we’ve managed to balance between the two sides of IFAF World and keep everyone in Europe at the same table and still work on football development. Most IFAF Europe members haven’t noticed any problems because we acted as their umbrella, which should be another confirmation of our positive track record. This might come as a surprise, but explaining all the issues we’ve encountered in the past year would take writing a book of a moderate page count and not an email like this one.
Unfortunately, with the Statutes changes proposed at one of the Congresses which will most likely be passed, it won’t be possible to keep everyone together anymore, since we will have two entirely different structures. We agree that the system needs changing as we’ve witnessed all its deficiencies, but we do not agree with the proposed changes nor has anyone even consulted us about them. Our view is simple: if there is a problem in Europe, it needs to be solved in Europe. And the only way to do it is with fair and democratic elections by all members in the same room. Goran has tried with a notion within the IFAF Europe board that failed because not all members were in support of it. Gregor has tried a similar approach with AFBOE that also failed. Now it comes down to the present situation that we had expected and warned about earlier.
In conclusion, if any structural changes or changes of any previously elected representatives of IFAF Europe are adopted by any of the Congresses on Saturday, you can consider this email to be a letter of resignation because we do not accept to be leaders of a divided Europe or of a European federation that is missing some member countries for whatever reason.