Flag football's popularity with women is hoped to help it achieve Olympic inclusion ©IFAF

Flag football's hopeful inclusion at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games has been labelled as just the start for the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), as it looks to further the growth of the sport and its varying formats.

IFAF says it sees the Games as a prime opportunity to reach markets that have not previously been exposed to American football.

It claims that featuring in the city's third hosting of the event will also be mutually beneficial for collaborating organisations.

"This is a unique joint venture that will bring together the National Football League, the International Federation of American Football, the Organising Committee of LA28, and the wider Olympic Movement with benefits for everyone," said Pierre Trochet, President of IFAF.

"This is not a one and done.

"LA is the right time, it is the right market to start.

"I truly want to make sure that and state very strongly that we are committed to work together to strengthen American football through the Olympic Movement in the long term."

Flag football was chosen ahead of other formats of American football mainly due to its gender equality advantage.

It is already an established discipline and is played by both men and women, something that is required for Olympic inclusion to be considered.

IFAF hope to establish long-term collaboration with stakeholders of the Olympic Movement ©Getty Images
IFAF hope to establish long-term collaboration with stakeholders of the Olympic Movement ©Getty Images

"If we were going to be in the Olympic Games, if IFAF was going to be in the Olympic Games, you needed a sport that was men and women, a sport that was really accessible, and a sport that was growing rapidly around the world," said Peter O'Reilly, NFL executive vice-president, club business and league events.

"It is low cost and easily accessible, and we have seen the rapid growth of flag football with the Pro Bowl Games being the biggest execution of that.

"The conversation was a no-brainer when you're thinking about the discipline of our game because of the gender element and because of how fast, exciting and growing it is."

Trochet hopes that Los Angeles 2028 would simply act as the first step and not the be all and end all.

"We are very confident in what we propose and what a unique opportunity to grow together we are bringing to the table as an International Federation and to the NFL to hopefully include flag football in LA28 but not only there," said Trochet.

"This is not a one and done.

"We are looking for a partnership with the wider Olympic Movement and for years to come."

Regardless of whether flag football features or not in five years' time, the NFL is said to be committed to the discipline as a prime development tool for American football.