NFL VP Waller: We're focused on quality London games, not quantity

LONDON -- NFL International vice-president Mark Waller has raised the possibility of the UK hosting five NFL games in 2019 and moved to reassure fans that the league remains as committed as ever to London.

Although a record four games were played in the UK in 2017 -- with two games apiece at Wembley and Twickenham -- the NFL revealed Thursday it would be returning to three matches this year.

One of the reasons for the reduction in games is that Tottenham's new stadium -- which had been scheduled to feature at least two games a year from 2018 -- will only host the meeting between the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders, with the other two games taking place at Wembley.

However, Waller told ESPN that the NFL plans to make up for the lost game and spoke of the possibility of a fifth game being played in 2019.

Asked about the 'missing' game potentially being added to the London slate the following season, Waller told ESPN: "We haven't worked out with Daniel [Levy, the Tottenham chairman] when that game might come back. It could be next year, but we'll obviously take the time and work our way through that.

"Fans shouldn't be worried about our commitment to the market, we'll definitely make it up and keep growing."

This year's matchups will also see the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished with an NFL-best record of 13-3, take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Tennessee Titans play the Los Angeles Chargers.

While the reduction of matches has raised eyebrows, Waller feels there is little pressure to increase the number of the games being played in the UK every year, believing the quality of the games to be more important than the number played.

"This year we worked really hard on bringing in playoff teams -- we have three teams that are still in the playoffs -- and teams that we haven't had before," Waller added. "I think we delivered really well there.

"I don't think we have to increase. We need to make sure we bring great games and new teams where we can, and ensure we deliver a great experience for our fans.

"I think, now, the number of games is less important than making sure the totality is really important."

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