UAE’s Falcons travels to play Team India in American football
All-star team from the UAE aims to build bridges through American football
A trip that has been two years in the making will finally become a reality this week. The UAE Falcons, a squad comprised of the best players from the Emirates American Football League (EAFL), travel to Hyderabad to play Team India.
The EAFL has been steadily growing since it launched in the UAE more than four years ago. Six teams now compete each season with the aim of being crowned the Desert Bowl champions.
Now the best players are being brought together to comprise a EAFL all-star team. In recent months has travelled to Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan.
The Falcons secured a 64-0 victory in Sri Lanka against the Colombo Lions on April 2nd. They pulled out a narrow 15-13 win against the Almaty Titans (Kazakhstan) on June 3rd.
Now they will face the best players in India on June 18.
India Ready to Compete
“The credit for this game goes in large part to Venkatesh Movva who is the owner of the Hyderabad Skykings from the Elite Football League of India,” Dustin Cherniawski, general manager of the EAFL, told 7DAYS.
“These boys will make up the majority of Team India, along with top talent from across the country.
“Mr. Movva also owns a semi-pro team in Oklahoma and 10 of his players spent some time there, learning from the US players.
“He contacted us two years ago as the Elite Football League of India was becoming less active and was looking to establish a relationship with the Emirates American Football League.
“He has a passion for the sport and is keen to rebuild the football scene in India and chose the EAFL Falcons as a high-profile game to draw the attention of the region. He is leading the charge in India.”
The EAFL All-Star team have excelled while on the road.
Cherniawski believes it is vitally important for the squad to compete on the international stage.
“It really unifies out community as the players experience new coaches and techniques, and bring those elements back to their team,” he explained.
“It also satisfies the passion we all have for travel and exposure to foreign cultures.
“The EAFL has athletes of 53 different nationalities and, like the UAE itself, we celebrate our diversity.
“We are building cultural bridges through sport and providing experiences that our athletes may not have otherwise been exposed to. We’re very proud of that.”
A new rivalry
Cherniawski hopes the game can help the EAFL establish a good relationship with the league in India. This may lead to more games between the two sides. And while victory is important, the ultimate goal is to showcase the sport to a wider audience.
“We hope for an exciting game that demonstrates the energy, excitement, and pageantry of our sport,” added Cherniawski.
“Our goal is to inspire others to become involved in American football – a sport that teaches commitment, accountability, and grit.”