Austrian champions, the Swarco Raiders, join the European League of Football

The Swarco Raiders Tirol have announced that they will be joining the European League of Football.

Their biggest rivals, the Dacia Vienna Vikings, made the same announcement earlier today.

The Raiders thus become the league’s 10th team for the 2022 season and fourth outside of Germany. The Innsbruck, Austria based team is excited to be a part of the new international league according to president Elisabeth Swarovski:

“This is one more milestone in the history of the Swarco Raiders. Since our founding nearly thirty years ago we have continually worked to become one of the most established brands of American football in Europe. The developments in the American football scene in Europe and Austria make this the logical step moving forward, putting us on Europe’s highest playing field among the best teams and players on the continent.”

The Swarco Raiders have been a powerhouse in Austria winning the Austrian Bowl in three consecutive seasons and making 11 straight title game appearances. The eight-time Austrian Bowl champions have also competed in the Central European Football League in both 2019 and 2021, winning the title and finishing second respectively.

The Raiders have been rumored as a likely expansion team for some time given their longstanding efforts to compete internationally. Yet,  the defending Austrian Bowl champions will likely continue participating in the Austrian Football League as their “Raiders II” team is projected to move up to Austria’s top league after a 2-4 season in the second division.

As mentioned, with this, the Swarco Raiders and Dacia Vienna Vikings, the two best teams in Austria, will continue their storied rivalry under the umbrella of the new international league.

The addition of Austria’s top two teams brings the league’s total number of franchises to an even 10. However, ELF commissioner Patrick Esume still has his eyes set on the continued expansion of Europe’s newest league:

“One thing is certain we will bring at least twelve teams to the start. However, it looks very good that more will be added and 14, maybe even 16 participants will compete in the 2022 season,” 

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football