Football the next Olympic sport? Roger Goodell hopes so - Sports Illustrated

Football the next Olympic sport? Roger Goodell hopes so

Publish date:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hopes to see football in the Olympics games in the near future. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

<> on July 12, 2012 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Rugby is an Olympic sport, yet football is not.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sees something wrong with that and wants to see America's most popular sport and its athletes compete for gold medals. Currently, medals are handed out for 35 different sports.

"We're already taking steps to gain that IOC recognition," Goodell said to "We have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that's one of the requirements. That's been growing dramatically -- I think it was 40 just five years ago."

Goodell doesn't have a time frame to get the sport in the Olympics as there has been talk about putting an NFL franchise in London.

"Our point is just to keep growing the game," Goodell said. "We're having a tremendous reaction in London and the UK for the game of football, our regular season game over there is sold out again this year, we are seriously contemplating as early as 2013 playing two NFL games next season and I think we'll do that. It's a response to the tremendous fan reaction and the growth of the game. If we can continue to grow the game there and have the fan reaction that we have, there very well may be a franchise in London."