The first match that could be described as an International Gridiron or American Football mstch is the one between two AFL teams in Canada in 1926. Following this the NFL and AFL played a series of matches between the Leagues in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.
In 1941 the first Canadian Football League v American Football League matches were held, and in 1950 the first match between a National Football League team and a Canadian Football League team.
Beginning in the 1970s, there were attempts at promoting American Football in Europe, through the Intercontinental Football League, and from there the World. In 1976 the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers played in Tokyo. In 1984 two United States Football League teams played in London, and in 1986 the first NFL American Bowl preseason game was held in London.
In 1999 the first World Cup was held, involving USA, Canada, as well as four other Nations which have to qualify through a series of matches.
In 2007 the NFL decided to promote the NFL in London, Mexico City and Toronto with the International Series of Regular Season games, which have run until the present.
Major American Football Leagues Internationals
American Football League International (1926)
National Football League v American Football Leagues (1927-1937):
Whilst not strictly speaking International matches, the National Football League has also played matches against American Football League teams in the 1920s, 1930s, & 1940s.
Canadian Football League v Major American Football Leagues (1941-1969)
Major American Football Leagues International (1972-Present)
The National Football League began playing matches abroad in 1950, with a series of matches in Canada and against Canadian opposition, which lasted until 1969. Then it played a match in Paris in 1972, as well as matches in the 1970s in Tokyo in partnership with the Intercontinental Football League. In the 1980s it started playing preseason matches in Europe (the American Bowl) and after the NFL Europe Development League experiment (1991-2007) it scheduled Regular Season NFL games in London, as well as preseason games in Japan, Mexico & Toronto.
In the meantime there has also been matches between NCAA and Minor League teams and teams from Leagues around the World.
National Football League International Games
Minor American Football Leagues Internationals
US and Canadian Colleges Internationals (1947-Present)
US College Division I Teams Games Abroad:
US College Division III Football Games v World Opposition
US College Division III Football Games Abroad
American Football World Cups
American Football World Cup:
Internationals (Non-USA & Canada)
For more on Irish International American Football see: International American Football (Ireland)
United Arab Emirates: