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Two AFL teams in CEFL 2024

Two AFL teams in CEFL 2024

Graz Giants CEFL 2024
Photo: Stephane Perrer

In 2024, 12 clubs from eight European national leagues will participate in the UEFA Champions League. Led by last season’s champion, La Courneuve Flash, eight other competitors take home the national title. Including Austrian champions Danube Dragons, who are back after a year-long hiatus. In addition, from Football-Austria there is the 2016 CEFL champion and AFL semi-finalist – Thalheim Graz Giants.

Heartbeat finale in Graz: Giants win CEFL Cup

While the Graz team managed to achieve victory in its only league appearance so far with victories over Hohenems, Ljubljana and Belgrade, the Dragons failed in the quarter-finals against Parma in 2022. The Austrian champions Back 2 Back are attacking again this year to win their first European title in the club’s history.

Unlike Graz, which will face the Serbian champion from Kragujevac in the first round on April 20, the Dragons have a bye and will not qualify directly to the quarter-finals unless they face the winner from Florence against Belgrade on May 11.

Germany is not there

What is striking about the list of participants is that no club from the German Football League is on board. You often hear complaints from GFL teams about how difficult life is for them as a rival league in Germany by the ELF, but at the same time they don’t seem to care much about pan-European amateur competitions. Schwäbisch Hall participated in the CEFL in 2021 and 2022 and also won the title against Raiders and Parma respectively in both years.

Al Ain: In addition to the return of two NFL teams to the Champions League, English champions Manchester United will also see a representative from the British National League for the first time.

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Field of participants for CELF 2024:

La Courneuf Flash, CEFL Bowl XVII Champions
Thonon Black Panthers, French champion
Parma Panthers, Italian champion
Danube Dragons, champion of Austria
Florence Gilfi, Italian runner-up
Stockholm means the machines, the heroes of Sweden
Calanda Broncos, Swiss champions
Thalheim Graz Giants, Austrian semi-finalist
Kragujevac Wild Boars Champion of Serbia
Belgrade SBP Vukovic, Serbian runner-up
Budapest Wolves, champions of Hungary
Manchester Titans, British Champions

The competition takes place on the weekends of April 20/21, May 11/12, and May 1/2. June and 22/23 June. As a result of this and the number of participants, a modified cup system is the only reasonable option from the point of view of the league and its participants. With La Courneuve Flash, Thonon Black Panthers, Parma Panthers and Danube Dragons, there are four teams that make it past the first round. Eight additional teams will compete in four regionally formatted first-round games.

CEFL Round 1, April 20/21

Florence Gilfi against. Belgrade SBB Vukovic
Stockholm means machines against. Manchester Titans
Calanda Bronco against. Budapest Wolves
Thalheim Graz Giants against. Kragujevac wild boars

CEFL Round 2, 11/12 CAN

No Cornoff Flash against. Stockholm means machines/Manchester Titans
Thonon Black Panther against. Thalheim Graz Giants/Kragujevac wild boars
Parma Panthers against. Calanda Bronco/Budapest Wolves
Danube Dragons against. Florence Gilfi/Belgrade SBB Vukovic

In the semi-finals, it is for first and second places. It is scheduled to be held in June, where four winners of the second round matches will compete against each other. The semi-final matches will be determined after the end of the second round. CEFL Bowl XVIII is scheduled for 22/23. June and will be hosted by one of the finalists.

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