The German Federation (AFVD) has launched a new International organisation – GFL International (GFLI) – which is set to change the face of European American football over the next few years. GFLI is taking over the running of Europe’s two elite club competitions – the EuroBowl and European Football League (EFL), both of which are currently run by the European Federation of American Football (EFAF).
The launch of GFLI is consequential to the ‘Frankfurt Declaration’ between AFVD and the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) which allows the German Federation to operate on a pan- European level. This Declaration resolves a long standing dispute over the running of European American football. In accordance with this agreement, a decision has been made to disband the European Federation of American Football (EFAF) with effect from 30th June 2014 and amendments are to be made to IFAF structures to ensure that European countries have more control over European matters and that revenue raised in Europe must remain in Europe.
Five countries – Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain – have already signed up to GFLI with others expected to come on board in the future. GFLI will have total control over the EuroBowl, which will now become the Championship game of the new GFLI BIG6 league. The old EFAF Cup competition will now become the European Football League, also run by GFLI. Both of these competitions will include the majority of the big name clubs in European American Football, with games being broadcast on Eurosport. GFLI will also set up development projects to help grow the sport in less developed European countries.
EFAF Vice-President and French Federation Board Member, Mr. Michel Daum, has been appointed as the new head of GFLI. It is expected that the majority of EFAF staff, particularly those with experience in running competitions, will transition to GFLI thus providing continuity.
The Atlantic Cup competition, which was formerly run by EFAF, will continue as an officially sanctioned International Club Championship tournament, though it will now be run directly by the participating countries.