TOLEDO — It is official: the final of the 42nd International Football League championship, the Italian Bowl, will be played in the University of Toledo Glass Bowl on July 1.

This is an historic event for European-American football and an opportunity for the entire Italian movement.

For anyone asking, this is American-style football, not soccer, and it is Italy’s gridiron championship coming to Northwest Ohio.

Last season a group of American business people and football fans who love Italy’s culture and history as much as they love the sport extended an invite to the Federazione Italiana di American Football, which accepted.

“This group has been carefully following our top championship with a critical eye and recognized the potential of one of the Americans’ best loved sport as a way to publicize Italy and share the country’s finest qualities and traditions,” according to a press release.

“The XLII Italian Bowl will be featured as part of the July 4 celebrations, and organizers hope it can be a phenomenal way to encourage shared experiences and collaboration between Italy and the United States, with the city of Toledo, which was twinned with Ferrera (Italian city) in November 2021, forming bonds and acting as a symbolic bridge between America and Europe.”

A full program has been put forward to the FIDAF for the IFL final with top-flight guests already confirmed, such as the opera singer Mariam Battistelli, and a range of fringe events designed to attract as many fans as possible to Toledo.

“With the organizational machine up and running, the chance to work side by side with experienced, dedicated professionals to hold the Italian Bowl in (the Glass Bowl) is an irresistible challenge and an exceptional opportunity for growth,” the release stated.

The entire weekend will be packed with Italian-themed events, including a business forum on June 30, and a night market following the game from 5.30-10 p.m. on July 1.