During the weekend the IFF had invited the top four member federations and their top clubs for a meeting to discuss the future of a European Club Competition.
A new “Champions Cup” for the top 4 ranked in the WFC and the winner of the EFC (starting from 2011) will be discussed and decided upon during the IFF Central Board meeting on February 2nd 2010.
The European Cup was started in 1993, in order to give the national champions a further challenge to compete internationally. It continued to grow and more teams took part forcing qualifications to be installed in 1999 and then in 2007 giving the top nations 2nd ranked teams a chance to participate in the renamed EuroFloorball Cup (EFC), enhancing the level of the competition. But in 2009 some teams felt that the attractiveness versus the return of the investment of the Cup was not enough and the abstention of some clubs, clearly called for a new approach.
This started a number of processes, since Floorball needs a high level profiled European Club Competition, which is the second most important showcase of elite Floorball after the WFC’s and thus being a good opportunity to get international TV coverage and thereby market and increase the level of awareness of the sport among the general public.
The IFF President Mr. Tomas Eriksson stressed that it is in the interest of all parties: the national Clubs, IFF’s member associations and the IFF, that all the best teams take part in the regional Club competitions.
One of the challenges for the Floorball community is facing are the different needs of the clubs. For some teams the present EFC qualifications are the best matches played during the whole season, but for others the present system is not enough. The meeting in Zürich agreed that there is a need to reform the EFC system. The basis for the discussion is now to divide the competition into two parts and form a new competition for the top club teams and at the same time continue to develop the present EFC for the teams ranked 5 and lower, keeping a place open for the winner of the EFC in the new top competition.
The IFF Central Board will based on the following outcome, discuss in its meeting on the 2nd of February the following concept:
- To install a new “Champions Cup” for the top four ranked in the WFC and the winner of the EFC starting in October 2011 with 6 to 8 teams in both the Men’s and Women’s category in one tournament.
- At the same time IFF needs to develop the present EFC, so that it should work as a real motivator for the clubs to continue their development and at the same time give a possibility to be able to win an International title.
- It was proposed that IFF would form a working group; to make a proposal of the guidelines and the business model of the new competition before May 2010.
It was additionally stressed that it is of great importance that the major European teams will participate in what now seems to be the last version of the EFC, to be played in Latvia in October 2010.
Participants in the meeting on the 23rd of January:
CFbU: Karolina Satalikova (Tigers) and Martin Vaculik (Tatran)
SIBF: LG Tjärnqvist (SIBF), Krister Kalte (Balrog) and Lasse Granqvist (AIK)
SSBL: Ismo Haaponiemi (SSBL), Milan Rantakari (Erä) and Kurt Westerlund (SSV)
SUHV: Andreas Iseli (Nat League), Patrick Falk (SUHV), Andi Rebsamen (UHC Dietlikon) and Marcel Siegenthaler (SV Wiler-Ersigen)
IFF: Tomas Eriksson, Renato Orlando, Filip Suman and John Liljelund