The CFL is getting the X-Factor. Well the X-League factor to be more precise. That is because the league has announced its latest global partnership. This time Japan’s National Football Association (NFA) is to become the eleventh global federation or league to partner with the CFL in the past 11 months.
CFL 2.0 kicks on
This opportunity comes thanks to the CFL 2.0 strategy designed to extend reach and strengthen international bonds for the league. Which goes back to the very beginning of Randy Ambrosie’s tenure as commissioner.
Ambrosie has been adamant that the CFL needs to think big and have confidence on the global stage. This is all part of following that through.
The NFA is the eleventh leading federation or league to join the CFL 2.0 movement. We have previously seen initiatives started with our own BAFA, a well as Scandinavian leagues, and agreements with leagues in Mexico, Germany, France & Austria.
Very early days
Teams have been required to dress one ‘global’ player this year. In some cases they are just there as support.
Amavizca became the answer to a quiz question when his kick made him the first global player to score in the CFL.
There have been other moments too such as Hamilton’s Valentin Gnahoua making his debut in week 9 and recovering an onside kick that led to a second-quarter field goal.
A developing relationship
For the CFL these new ties embody part of a wider, developing global relationship with new partners.
Football leaders from all of the CFL’s international partners are expected to attend the upcoming Grey Cup for example.
Plus this is opening doors for Canadian talent too. The First ever LFA -Canadian draft saw 25 players drafted into the Mexican pro league.
It is going to be intriguing to see just how these nascent relationships develop and what affects that will have on the CFL and its new overseas partners.
Banner Image: The X-League is the latest to join the CFL 2.0 initiative. Image from japantravel.com