In its first year in existence, the European Club Team Competition, ECTC, will be without a championship game as first the Helsinki Roosters from Finland and now Denmark’s Copenhagen Towers, have declined to participate in a title game in Vienna, Austria.
IFAF Europe Chair Gregor Murth issued the following statement:
“Even though the Northern Group had 3 attractive games with narrow margins, no representative of the Northern Group will proceed to the semifinals. First the Helsinki Roosters made use of the option to withdraw, that was entered in the ECTC regulations for 2019 in order to guarantee the group stage can be played as planned. Then the Copenhagen Towers – who were expected to step in for the Roosters – have decided to not replace the Roosters and play the ECTC playoff against Vienna. So the Dacia Vikings Vienna are the first Finalist in the ECTC Championship 2019.”
So, by default, the Dacia Vienna Vikings advance to play the winner of the Central European Football League (CEFL).
As reported May 14, after the Helsinki Roosters won the game determining who would advance to play the Vikings in Austria, beating the Towers in the waning seconds of the game, they announced they would not participate further in the tournament.
This was not a sudden decision. The agreement had been reached in January with the International Federation of American Football when the new board of directors of directors of the Roosters discovered that financial commitments made by the previous board could not be met.
So, after Helsinki won the game against the Towers, the automatic choice of finalist was the Towers. Although Copenhagen lost to the Roosters, they had beaten the Stockholm Mean Machines. Helsinki had also defeated Stockholm earlier in the tournament. But after mulling the decision over for three days, the Danish reigning champions also declined.
And for understandable reasons:
Anders Skovgren, Sports Director of the Towers:
“First I want to say we have been delighted to have been able to compete in this tournament. It has been a great showcase for international football, and football in the Nordic countries. And we want to thank Gregor Murth for his incredible efforts in making this all happen. The decision not to take the place of the Roosters and play Vienna was not easy. But after being excited to play against the Roosters, we still lost and in our minds, we were out. The mindset of the players, coaches and club, was simply that. Football is a tough, physical sport and with our own season ongoing in Denmark it would be tough to rally to face the Vikings in Vienna. But perhaps the key factor was the enormous expense of a game on the road in Vienna, having to make ‘last minute’ hotel and flight arrangements. Given all of these factors, we decided we would have to decline. However, we genuinely hope to see this tournament continue.”
The championship game between the Vikings and the winner of the CEFL is scheduled for June 29/30.