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26.02.2010 EFAF

Minsk to host Eastern Cup premiere

(c) EFAF

EFAF's Club Team Competition Director Uwe Talke met with representatives of a number of federations and clubs from Eastern Europe last week and agreed on the format of a new tournament which will start play this year. By now the name of the competition is referred to as „Eastern Cup“ as a working title, but this detail may still be discussed upon until the final preparations take place. In line with EFAF's approach to assist its member federations at its best abilities without patronizing those kind of action which would better be conducted by local experts, it will be left to the regional organisers to replace the working title with any name they feel better suited to their marketing schemes.

The core design of the tournament has been set, however: Four teams from four different countries will meet at Minsk, Belarus, on the second weekend of July, play semifinals on Saturday and final games on Sunday. The venue of the event will be the Olympic Base Stayki, the largest and most modern sports facility in Belarus, which is the main practice site for Olympic athletes from Belarus. Not only does it feature a state-of-the-art playing field with artificial turf, but provides accommodation, catering and a lot of other amenities for the athletes on the same compound.

Eastern Cup will join Atlantic Cup and Challenge Cup as EFAF's third regional tournament to complement the continent-wide competitions of EFL and EFAF Cup. „This will be a milestone for EFAF and the development of American Football in Europe“, says EFAF president Robert Huber. „To be a real European institution it is of great importance to EFAF to span its activities across the whole continent.“ In great part the developmental work for American Football in Eastern regions is done by Russian Evgeni Chechov, one of the most outstanding European players at junior level ever, who - after an early career-ending injury - continues his commitment for the game in the organisational ranks.

At the end of this month Chechov will be gathering hundreds of youth players from Russia at St. Petersburg for a big weekend tournament, afterwards he will help to oversee the preparations for Eastern Cup: Russia, Ukraine, Poland and of course hosting Belarus will be entitled to name one team each to compete at Stayki. Some delegates of clubs already were engaged in the preparational talks, but the final nominations will be done by the national federations in May. Up to then they may decide whether national relegation games for their country's starting spot shall be held.

European Federation of American Football