5 Clubs to Participate in 2017 IFAF Europe Champions League
Europe’s largest international American football club competition shrinks from 13 to 5 teams.
In an letter issued to participating clubs, IFAF Europe committee member Romeo Tjoe-A-On (Netherlands) notified the 2017 participants that only five clubs have applied, and been accepted, to the next year’s iteration of what was the continent largest American football competition.
Tjoe-A-On stated that the Istanbul KOC Rams (Turkey), Istanbul Bogazici Sultans (Turkey), Kragujevac Wild Boars (Serbia), Lisboa Devils (Portugal), and Moscow Patriots (Russia) will meet next year.
If this is the form of the 2017 IFAF Europe Champions League tournament, it is but a shadow of its former self.
In 2016, the Wroclaw Panthers (Poland) beat Italy’s Milano Seamen 40-37 in the IFAF Europe Champions League title game in a high scoring, thrilling contest staged in Wroclaw, Poland. The game capped a season long competition that featured 13 clubs and stretched all across the continent.
The noticeable reduction of participants is likely due the divided political climate in Europe. Changes made by the IFAF Paris faction to the IFAF Europe structure pushed the continental chairmen to resign and left a splintered group of over 13 national federations without clear alignment.
Politics aside, the tournament groups were also released.
In Group A, the Kragujevac Wild Boars will travel to Istanbul Koc Rams, the Istanbul Koc Rams will travel to Moscow Patriots, and the Moscow Patriots will travel to Kragujevac Wild Boars. In Group B, each team will have a home and away game with the other. The Lisboa Devils will travel to Istanbul Bogazici Sultans and visa versa.
It should be noted that this current configuration features put three national champions in the same Group (Rams, Wild Boars and Patriots). However this format may not stand.
Tjoe-A-On also stated that the Champions League rules and regulations will be modified and teams will be notified by Friday, 12/16.