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Briefly in english


American Football Association of Finland was founded in 1979. Our mission is to organize and promote american football and its different variations elite and recreational playing by spreading knowledge of the game in Finland together with our quality member clubs as well as being active participant in international american football bodies. Currently SAJL has 39 member clubs and almost 3500 lisence participants in men's and women's leagues as well as in six different youth categories.

SAJL is member of  Finnish Olympic Committee and International Federation of American Football IFAF.

BRIEF HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL IN FINLAND. American football came to Finland in the late 70’s through high school students returning back from their exchange student in United States. And the first game was played between two high schools in 1976.

After few years of irregular high school games and friendy against team made out of US Embassy Marine Corps the first unofficial National Championship was played in 1979. And later that year American Football Association of Finland was founded and the game started to become club sport activity instead of a school sport. Football grew fast in late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

NATIONAL TEAMS First national team Finland was fielded in 1983 when men´s national team participated in the first ever European Championships of American football in Italy. Ever since that Finland has participated in all 13 final tournaments and has been crowned European Champion 5 times (1985, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999).

Finland has been the runner-up 4 times (1991,2001) and two times the team has finished 3 rd (1987, 2005).  2014 Finnish national team was 4th in the competition.

2018 European Championships will be held in Vantaa, Finland.

In 2008 Finland played Sweden in the worlds first ever womens tackle international national team game. Finnish ladies team won bronze in the first competition 2010 in Sweden and won bronze medals also in 2013 World championships that were organized in Finland. 2017 World Championship games in Canada Finland was 5th.

2015 Finland won the first European championship in Spain.


Mens U19 national team participated in first Junior European Championships in France 1992 and won the tournament. Finland was crowned as a European Junior Champion in the first three competitions (1992, 1994, 1996).

Finland also runs boys U17 national team that is playing every two years in Nordic championships. Finland has won Nordic champinship 2013 and 2017.

Finland has also started its womens U19 national team program in 2015.

MENS LEAGUES First senior league was played in 1980 and the equipment came mandatory at that point as well. The National Champion is determined in Maple Bowl and the highest league is called the Maple League. Powerhouse has been the Helsinki Roosters with 20 National Championships. 

Chris Mulumba
Ville Valasti
Filip Zacok

TOP PLAYERS are also playing other European domestic leagues. Some have departed to US colleges for example offensive line players Seppo Evwaraye (University of Nebraska) later with Minnesota Vikings development team and defensive tackle Michael Quarshie (University of Columbia) later with Oakland Raiders development team. From senior teams top players have played in former NFL-Europe league, where tight ends Klaus Alinen bounced to Atlanta Falcons organization and Iiro Luoto to New York Jets's development team. Offensive guard Karri Kuuttila (Lockhaven) attend 2011 St. Louis Rams camp.

2018  season there will be three finnish players attending div I FBS college football defensive end Chris Mulumba Colorado,  defensive end Ville Valasti Eastern Michigan and Filip Zacok in Indiana State.