CEFL: European teams’ alliance

Photo: Bernhard Hörtnagl

Dear football fans, have we got news for you! This offseason Sportklub Central European Football League has worked in close cooperation with IFAF Europe to bring you the biggest event yet.

Twelve of the strongest European national champions and two vice-champions, which play under common player licensing rules, will unite in a single competition. We are very happy to announce that the CEFL Bowl XV winner will also be the ECTC best team and the 2020 European Champion.
In our 15th season we’ve brought together the strongest lineup so far covering all Europe, from Barcelona in the west, to Moscow in the east, and from Stockholm in the north, to Istanbul in the south.

We are convinced that the next season will be the new beginning in integrating the strongest continental teams into an indivisible competition. Europe’s been waiting a long time for the best of its teams to match up and produce the champion.

A big thank you and congratulations to everyone who has worked to make this possible!
Enough teasing, let’s get down to business. Who are the teams and what will the tournament look like?

The following list will unveil teams’ names and rank according to their sporting achievements in 2019 season:
1. Swarco Raiders Tirol, Austrian champions, CEFL champions, ECTC champions
2. Dacia Vienna Vikings, Austrian vice-champions, ECTC finalists
3. Calanda Broncos, Swiss champions, CEFL finalists
4. Wroclaw Panthers, Polish champions
5. Thonon Black Panthers, French champions
6. Milan Seamen, Italian champions
7. Copenhagen Towers, Danish vice-champions
8. Badalona Dracs, Spanish champions
9. Stockholm Mean Machines, Swedish champions
10. Kragujevac Wild Boars, Serbian champions
11. Istanbul Koc Rams, Turkish champions
12. Moscow Spartans, Russian de-facto champions

Whenever 12 teams were in international competition so far, football fans in Europe have grown accustom to a standard league format, consisting of 4 conferences of 3 teams.

This time, due to vast distances between the teams, a new system had to be adopted to account for teams’ ranking and geographic location, and to be economic for everyone. The best possible alternative was a modified cup system.

In this structure 4 best-placed teams will be seeded, which grants them a bye in the first round. Remaining 8 teams will play single-game matchups at higher-ranked teams’ venues. The priority was to pair up teams geographically, where applicable, and then apply ranking benchmark. First round games will be played on 25 April, except the game in France which will take place on 11 April.

First Round:

11 April Thonon Black Panthers – Badalona Dracs
25 April Milan Seamen – Moscow Spartans
25 April Copenhagen Towers – Stockholm Mean Machines
25 April Kragujevac Wild Boars – Istanbul Koc Rams

In the second round, winners of these games will travel to meet seeded teams closest to them, where applicable, and the matchups will be played on 9 and 10 May.

Second Round:

9 May Swarco Raiders Tirol – (Milano Seamen / Moscow Spartans)
9 May Dacia Vienna Vikings – (Kragujevac Wild Boars / Istanbul Koc Rams)
9 May Wroclaw Panthers – (Copenhagen Towers / Stockholm Mean Machines)
10 May Calanda Broncos – (Thonon Black Panthers / Badalona Dracs)

Semifinal games will be hosted by the 2 best-ranked teams out of the 4 remaining. Teams will be paired up using the rule of lowest total distance. That means matchups will be known only after second round games have been played. The game date set aside for the semifinals is 6 June.
The venue of the final game for the title of the European Champion is yet to be decided. However, the date of 27 June is already slated for the big celebration.

That’s it folks. It’s going to be an exciting season and we can’t wait for the spring to come. What do you think? Let us know your impressions on social media.