Flag football made a successful presentation at the IOC Session in Mumbai ©Getty Images

Officials from the National Football League (NFL) have pledged to try and make sure their players will be able to take part when flag football makes its Olympic debut in 2028.

"There is a desire to work through a process that has NFL players as a part of LA28," NFL major events and international executive vice-president Peter O’Reilly said.

"We think it is a great opportunity because the player interest is real and palpable, there is a desire to work through with the stakeholders."

The NFL has been working closely with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) to promote the campaign for flag football's Olympic inclusion.

Flag football was included alongside baseball/softball, cricket, lacrosse and squash for Los Angeles 2028 after a decision at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai.

NFL players are normally required to return for pre-season training with their clubs towards the end of July.

In July this would coincide with the last few days of the 2028 Olympic Games.

"There are 113 foreign born players on the roster, there are a lot of other passports in the NFL, we understand the desire, what they have spoken out about that opportunity to represent their countries, we will continue to work with the players, the players' association and the NFL clubs in the time ahead," O’Reilly insisted.

"I think IFAF's proposal and what LA28 put forward to the IOC was not predicated on NFL players, clearly the athletes in our game are at the highest level and we will work towards that, but having first hand watched the best in this sport at the World Games, there is incredible talent across the world.

"I would never discount the talented flag football players playing our sport at a very high level."

The Olympic competition is set to comprise eight nations in both men's and women's tournaments with squads of ten players.

"We definitely intend to propose that we have fully worldwide representation at the Olympics," IFAF President Pierre Trochet said.

IFAF is set to discuss the details of qualification pathways with the IOC but it seems likely that there will be a three-year cycle beginning with the 2026 World Championship.

"We can learn a lot from really successful Olympic sports who have come in," O’Reilly added, citing the way beach volleyball was staged at Bondi Beach during the Sydney 2000 Games.

"We pride ourselves on putting great fan and event experiences together.

"What’s really exciting now we are over this hurdle is thinking about what could that flag football venue be like, how do we bring the best ideas about IFAF and NFL together with LA28 and the IOC to create that kind of magnetic venue that does break through.

"We are committed to growing flag football in this country and around the world over the long haul.

"The Olympic decision accelerates that, we do see it as a long term commitment moving forward, it is not just about 2028 and that July, it is about the next four years and how we, our clubs and IFAF take that opportunity to really grow this game."

The Los Angeles 2028 Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 14 to 30.