While U.S. residents may know it simply as football, in Italy the sport of American football as played by Marco Nordio attracts a small but vocal contingent of loyal fans.
As a member of the popular Muli Trieste team based in Trieste, Italy, Nordio and the other players competed in local and regional contests. Muli Trieste, loosely translated as the Trieste Mules, was the first American football team in the city of Trieste and was founded in 1983 under the leadership of president Giuliano Guidi and head coach Corrado Savio. The team participated in championship play with other teams from throughout Europe and reached the playoffs on several occasions.
American football continues to enjoy popularity in Italy under the auspices of the Italian Football League, also known as the IFL. Teams from Milano, Parma, Bologna and Catania are among the best known in the IFL. Other Italian teams compete in competitions arranged by the European Football League or the International Federation of American Football as part of their regular schedules or to determine championship standings for multi-league play.
American football is not one of the sports included in the Olympic Games. While attempts have been made to promote this sport to the International Olympic Committee, limitations on the number of athletes allowed to compete in the games and already overcrowded schedules have made the inclusion of American football in the Olympics a near impossibility. Additionally, American football lacks the broad global popularity of most other Olympic sports and may not attract the attention needed to justify adding it at this time.