CFL 2.0 The Vikings are coming!

The Vikings are coming! No not those Vikings. Not the Vikings who were once coached by that CFL great either.

In truth they are not ‘Vikings’ any more but their Scandinavian ancestry is bound to the Vikings. Never mind though, because the ‘Nordic countries’ are the latest to sign up to an agreement with the CFL.

Following on from agreements with leagues in Mexico, Germany, France & Austria the CFL has announced an agreement with American football federations in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

Some connections already exist. For instance Lars Carlsen, Athletic Director of the Danish football federation and Head coach of the national team attended the training camp of the CFL’s BC Lions last year.

For Britball fans who are old enough this may stir a few memories too. Back in the summer of 1988 EuroBowl II was held in the UK and won by the Helsinki Roosters.

How exotic all these teams seemed beyond the NFL at that time. Canadian and European teams were something else all together. Now here they are forming connections. It truly is a small world as they say!

Looking forward

This agreement is the latest in a series. All of the later ones have been brought about by Randy Ambrosie touring Europe.

The German Football League and French American Football Federation have already committed to sending a group of players to Toronto for an ‘international combine’ in March.

At this stage there will be very few Nordic players in attendance. Various reasons are cited for this. For example the Swedish federation schedule starts in April so going to the combine would be disruptive, plus those going pro may already have signed for the GFL.

Ambrosie isn’t going to let this whole CFL 2.0 project subside without a fight. International coaching exchanges, international combines, and a raised global profile are clearly the ambition. It will be fascinating to see just how much of that is ever realised.

Meanwhile in Canada

It is an interesting time to do this. We are on the cusp of a new collective bargaining agreement. Some might think that is where league focus should be.

Some players have taken to social media commenting on Ambrosie’s absence in Europe at this time.

However over on the PifflesPodcast he did suggest he was waiting on the CFLPA to send their notice to bargain.

So what now? It seems like we’ll be focusing on free agency and the CBA for now. As for the international agreements? Watch this space.

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Article written by:

Chris Lawton joined the team in 2017 and has been writing about the CFL ever since. He originally started following the NFL with the 'first wave' of fans when it was shown on Channel 4 in the 1980's. He has been a keen supporter of the Miami Dolphins since 1983. Chris first encountered the CFL in 2016 and instantly fell in love with the Canadian game. He has been writing about the CFL from the inception of Ninety-Nine Yards. You can find him on twitter as @CFLfanUK

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