Canadian Football League and German Football League discuss deeper cooperation

The Canadian Football League, CFL and the German Football League, GFL, wound up a couple of days of talks designed to further solidify the details of the joint cooperation initiatives between the two leagues.

The CFL and GFL had reached an agreement earlier this year to form a long-term strategic partnership designed to grow the game of football in both countries.

At a meeting in Toronto last week, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, AFVD (German Federation of American Football) President Robert Huber, GFL Spokesperson Carsten Dalkowski along with leading management personnel from the CFL discussed details on the next steps in the process. Together with Ambrosie, the AFVD delegation also attended a football game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the invitation of Tiger-Cats team president Scott Mitchell.

The Bombers currently have one of the two German players in the CFL, Thiadric Hansen. The other is Max Zimmermann who plays for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Under the CFL’s new rules, each team is allowed one Global player on the 46 man active, game-day roster, and two on the practice roster. The German players attended a Combine in March and then were drafted in a separate European draft. Both went through training camp with their respective clubs and made the roster.

One of the topics on the agenda in Toronto was how to pave the way for more German players to enter the CFL. Plans are underway to hold a major try-out in Germany in January to select qualified players for the next CFL combine in February. This would give players significantly more time to prepare for the 2020 CFL Combine.

The leagues also discussed proposals regulating player transfers from GFL and AFVD to the CFL as well as vice versa from the CFL to the GFL. For players who leave GFL teams for the CFL, it was proposed that the Canadian league would recognize the efforts of the German clubs and the federation and reimburse expenses for educating and training of these players through a fixed transfer fee in each case. In return, the CFL teams would have the opportunity to send Canadian players originally signed from the CFL Draft to German teams to further evaluate their abilities. These players could then be exempted from roster and on-field import restrictions for Canadian players under GFL regulations.

Discussions also included opening up a mutual exchange program to include coaches, referees, medical staff and other officials. The CFL has also offered to assist the GFL in respect to TV or Livestream productions, marketing and public relations as well as sponsorship activities. Canadian expertise could also be used to further strengthen the GFL in areas of football operations – such as scouting, game analysis, event organization, statistics and much more.

The Canadian Football League will hold its 107th Grey Cup this year making it the oldest football (gridiron) championship game in the world. The German Football League emerged from the roots of the first German Bundesliga in 1979. German Bowl XLI is scheduled for October 12 at Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt and will continue the longest tradition of an American football event in Europe. Both partners are willing to build on their strong tradition and further accelerate the growth of the game worldwide.

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