Proposed American Football League in USSR 1979

In 1979 American Promoter Tom Kelly, proposed to introduce American Football to the USSR, begiinning with a demonstration match involving Professional American teams and following this the creation of a dozen or two dozen teams in the Soviet Union. The State Functionaries, however, did not approve of the plan, and it was not until 1989, with the Glasnost Era, that the first matches were played, with a demonstration match by two College teams, the “Stars” and the “Bummers”. [1]

The first Russian American Football Championship then took place in 1992, however due to insufficent numbers as well as presumably the large distances involved in a National League, it was not until 2002 that it was again played, and has been played since. [2]

Billboard Advertising the first American Football Game in Russia 1989 [Reference: 3]


Internet Archive

[1] American Football (Russia) (2017) History in Russia [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 24 December 2017]

[2] American Football League (Russia) | Wayback Machine (2018) American Football League [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 31 December 2019]


[3] American Football (Russia) (2017) History in Russia | Billboard Advertising First College Game in Russia 1989 [Internet] Available from:×600.jpg[Accessed 24 December 2017]


Thanks to Robert Gorby & Enda Fahy.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 30 December 2019

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2019

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved.

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