Jerusalem, Israel - Dec. 6, 2021  - The 10th Flag Football World Championship games are taking place in Jerusalem, Israel from December 6 to 8th, at the Kraft Family Sports Complex. A record 39 teams from 21 countries are competing, with the USA gold medalists favored in winning again.

An opening night event was held at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel for the estimated 900 participants, players, coaches, and managers. Steve Leibowitz, President of AFI American Football in Israel and a driving force behind the games while most of the world was hesitant due to the pandemic, welcomed the audience.

The program held on the last night of Chanukah started with the lighting of the large Chanukah menorah by Rav Aharon Katz, the founder and Rosh Yeshiva of Derech Etz Chaim. For many of the players from Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Team Neutral, Thailand, and the United States it was the first time in Israel and experiencing a Chanukah celebration.

A short video of Jerusalem highlights was shown as the crowd waited for Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion to arrive and welcome the visitors. Because of the coronavirus restrictions, the teams will not be able to do the usual tourist stops, they are restricted to the sports fields and back to the hotel. The talk in the hotel ballroom was already of returning visits to Israel.

The emcee for the evening was Natasha Kirtchuk, News anchor for 124 who did an admirable job ad-libbing and keeping the crowd engaged until the Mayor arrived.

Winners will qualify for July 2022 World Games in Birmingham, AL when flag football is to be included for the first time. Tournament sponsors include NFL Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a long-time supporter of American football in Israel and donor of the Kraft Family Sports Campus. Kraft was not able to attend in person but sent a video message shown at the opening event.