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21.05.2010 EFAF

EFAF Cup semifinals at Carlstad and Chur

(c) EFAF

EFAF Cup semifinals will be played on the weekend of June 5/6. Swiss champions Calanda Broncos will host the Parma Panthers from Italy to their home field at Chur in the Graubünden region, while the Carlstad Crusaders will invite the London Blitz to Sweden. The EFAF Cup semifinalists emerged from the four preliminary groups and are quite a remarkable set of teams in many ways. 2010 undoubtedly will be a year, in which the EFAF Cup competition will be much more than just a „small EFL“.

First thing of note: the four teams come from four different countries. Much is talked about the Austrian-German rivalry, taken to its first heating point of the year in the EFL semifinals, but EFAF Cup this year spans across a bigger part of the continent in its final stages. So it possibly provides more fans in Europe with a chance to identify with a team of their choice from their region.

An attribute all four teams share, is that - at the time of this writing - they all are undefeated in the 2010 season, and it's fairly probable this still will be true when the teams face each other in the EFAF Cup semifinals. The Carlstad Crusaders opened up their national season with a 28-13 road win against the Stockholm Mean Machines, so things look very bright for them in Swedish Superserien, as it was only Stockholm who stood in their way in last year's run for the national title. Aside from their improved on-field performance the Crusaders are well known throughout Europe as a well-organized club. Their home games are played in a nice stadium very suitable for American Football and they build on a fanbase in a vivid environment characterized by students from the nearby university.

The Crusaders' opponent from London is the dominating team from the recent past in Great Britain. But not only did the Blitz excel in its national competitions, in the EFAF Cup preliminaries they for instance handed France's Saint Ouen Cougars a loss. This should not go unnoticed, as in recent years British teams more than once had to accept defeats against teams from Britain's arch-rival France.

The second semifinal matchup will be an encounter of two teams that could be on the verge of becoming kind of a dynasty in their home countries. The Calanda Broncos (formerly known as Landquart Broncos) within a couple of years formed a dominant team, that won the Swiss championship in 2009 and seems to be heading to the next one this year. The Parma Panthers have been to the EFAF Cup final in 2008 and, even if last year they had to accept a bitter semifinal loss in the Italian championship playoffs at Lazio, currently to some degree stand out of the group of Italian top teams battling for the position, the Bergamo Lions held until some years ago: to be the household name throughout Europe when it comes to describe the very finest in Italian Ameircan Football.

European Federation of American Football