There is no set criteria in deciding which sports shall be featured at the Olympic Games, save for the initial requirement that a sport must be governed by an international sporting organization (i.e. FIFA for soccer, FIBA for basketball) that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee. No such sporting federation dealing with American football has been recognized. Among other things, such a sporting federation must demonstrate to the IOC a record of development of the sport, in which the given federation is responsible, around the world. Regarding any future prospect of football being added to the Olympic program, it is the current policy of the IOC not to add to the number of sports already being played at the Summer Games. Should a sport be added, another must be removed, and only the sports of golf, rugby sevens and wushu have been recently considered for addition to the program. Such discussion has been postponed until after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Because American football is boring, and no other countries like it apart from America, What is the point in an event that America would win every time with no one else even coming close? I think the Olympics were originally for amateur sports people because at the time there was no such thing as professionalism. Part of the first answer is incorrect, as there is an organization that governs American football. The IFAF, International Federation of American Football, is such an organization, and has probably has at least been noticed by the IOC, if not considered to be a part of the Olympics.
And, I wouldn't necessarily call American football boring, especially not compared to some other Olympic sports (such as rhythmic dancing).
The truth is that sporting games (such as the Olympics) are all, in one way or another, a business, and the IOC will include whatever it thinks can entertain people.
So, whether they think the games won't be competitive enough, or because not enough countries play the game regularly, or because a lot of the better American players wouldn't play at risk of injury, the IOC doesn't view football as an entertaining sport for its viewers. We have the right to disagree (which I do), but, at the moment, there's nothing we can do about it.
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