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First NFL Game Outside North America to be Played in London

The National Football League has chosen London, England, to host the league's first regular season game to be played outside of North America.

NFL owners voted in October to play up to two games outside the United States every season for the next five years. The international series begins with one game in the 2007 season.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said Tuesday "there are many NFL fans in London - both American and non-American." He says London is proud to host the game, which "will be a spectacular sporting occasion."

The move is a bid to extend the popularity of the sport outside the United States. Britain, Germany, Canada and Mexico have been identified as the top foreign markets for NFL games.

The venue and teams to take part in the London match-up, which will be played in the fall of 2007, will be announced at a later date. The NFL also received interest from several German cities, but picked London for the first game.

The NFL staged its first regular season game outside the United States in 2005 when over 103,000 fans watched the Arizona Cardinals play the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.