The Central European Football League, Europe’s major club team tournament, will return in 2021 after taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eleven teams, including eight national champions and three finalists from 10 different countries will compete this year. And for the first time ever, Germany will be represented in the tournament.
The tournament, which has been held annually since 2006, will have a seeding system with the top four seeded teams plus Italy’s Milano Seamen earning a first round bye into the second round and home field advantage. The remaining six teams will play single-round knockout games. The ranking system will take into account each team’s records and accomplishments from 2019 and also 2020 for those teams who played a season.
- Swarco Raiders Tirol, 2019 Austrian champions, 2019 CEFL champions, 2019 ECTC (European Club Team Championship) champions
- Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, 2019 German runners-up
- Dacia Vienna Vikings, 2019 Austrian runners-up, 2019 ECTC finalists, 2020 Austrian champions
- Calanda Broncos, 2019 Swiss champions, 2019 CEFL runners-up
- Thonon Black Panthers, 2019 French champions
- Milano Seamen, 2019 Italian champions
- Badalona Dracs, 2019 Spanish champions
- Copenhagen Towers, 2019 Danish runners-up
- Carlstad Crusaders, 2020 Swedish champions
- Kragujevac Wild Boars, 2019 Serbian champions
- Moscow Spartans, 2020 Russian champions
The tournament will use a modified cup schedule will take into account each team’s ranking and geographic location while attempting to make it financially viable.
The playing schedule was adjusted to take into account each team’s national league obligations. As a result, game dates after the first round are slightly different:
April 24: Thonon Black Panthers – Badalona Dracs
April 24: Copenhagen Towers – Calrstad Crusaders
April 24: Kragujevac Wild Boars – Moscow Spartans
bye Milano Seamen
May 15: Swarco Raiders Tirol – Milan Seamen
May 15: Dacia Vienna Vikings – Kragujevac Wild Boars/Moscow Spartans
May 15: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns – Copenhagen Towers/Carlstad Crusaders
May 29: Calanda Broncos – Thonon Black Panthers/Badalona Dracs
May 29: Winners of second round games hosted by the Raiders and the Vikings
June 12: Winners of second round games hosted by the Unicorns and the Broncos
Higher-ranked teams in either matchup of the semifinals will be the hosts.
The 2021 CEFL Championship Game will be held on June 26 with one of the two finalists hosting the game.
Naturally, precautions will be taken to provide for Covid-19 safety this year and protect the health of the players and everyone involved in the tournament.
The organizers are hoping that the pandemic will have subsided somewhat by spring so there will be no more of lockdowns or any force-majeure situations where games get canceled.