Nine Nations send teams into EFAF Cup

Category: EFL - published 2010-03-03 by EFAF

EFAF Cup schedule 2010 published

For a third year in a row the record number of nine nations will be represented in the EFAF Cup. The schedule for the preliminary round, starting on April 17, has been fixed and features eleven teams in four groups. The semifinals are scheduled for the first weekend in June, with the final game to be played in Mid-July. EFAF Cup has been established in 2002 as a second European-wide clubs tournament besides EFL. Just like soccer's Europe League (formerly UEFA Cup) it is primarily designed to provide international competition for national champions, whose countries have not earned a starting spot in the European Football League, and for teams from countries with EFL starting spots that fell short of the national title the year before.

Again, amongst the nine nations involved, the examples for both of thes propositions are easily to be found in 2010: Parma Panthers and Lazio Marines from Italy, France's Saint-Ouen Cougars, Spain's L'Hospitalet Pioners or the Carlstad Crusaders from Sweden give it a try on the European stage after falling just slightly short in the race for their national championships. They will join the champions from Denmark (Sollerod Gold Diggers), the Netherlands (Amsterdam Crusaders), Serbia (Kragujevvac Wild Boars), Great Britain (London Blitz) and Switzerland (Calanda Broncos) in the quest for the EFAF Cup trophy. The Zurich Renegades complete the field as a second Swiss team.

EFAF Cup has proven to be the perfect preparation for teams planning to play within the EFL in the future. The EFAF Cup champion earns an automatic starting spot for next year's EFL competition. And not only last year's cup winner Prague Panthers contends for the Eurobowl this year, the other 2009 finalist from Thonon, France, made it to the EFL, too. Which is not only beneficial to these clubs, but to the EFAF Cup competition as a whole. From season to season a new open race evolves. As of last year's semifinalists only Dutch champion Amsterdam Crusaders return (the Bologna Doves have lost their national First-Division status, which is mandatory for EFAF Cup contestants), and the Crusaders are packed into what could be the strongest division of the preliminaries, it will be no surprise, when the semifinals will be played by totally new set of teams.

Amsterdam will first have to travel to Paris to clash with the Saint-Ouen Cougars before playing at home against British champion London Blitz. The winner of this Western European group then will face the winner of the Scandinavian clash between Carlstad and Sollerod in the semifinals. The Italian and Swiss teams are split up between groups 1 and 2, where Parma and Zurich battle L'Hospitalet while Calanda and Lazio try to hold off Kragujevac.

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