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Barcelona becomes eighth city to host European League of Football franchise

Barcelona has become the eighth city announced as a host of the European League of Football (ELF), a new brand of American Football set to debut next year.

The city has joined the list of hosts from Germany including, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Ingolstadt and Stuttgart, as well as Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers.

The new American Football competition will be headed by SEH Sports & Entertainment Holding, the company founded by Zeljko Karajica, and is intending on expanding the ELF to 20 teams across ten countries in the future, with its inaugural season set to take place in June 2021.

“The feedback right after the announcement of our plans was already overwhelming and showed how much radiance the idea of a European football league has,” started Karajica.

“With Germany, Poland, and Spain we now have franchises in three countries, but this is just the beginning. The interest is great in many nations.

“We are in a position to take up further franchises very quickly and are consistently pursuing the goal of establishing a league with more than 20 teams from ten countries in the medium term.”

“The idea and the concept convinced us, the talks with the representatives of the league were very positive and trustworthy. This sport deserves to have a professional stage in Europe as well.

“We are strongly convinced that the ELF will succeed in this and are proud to be part of it from the very beginning”.

The Barcelona franchise will see Bart Iaccarino, a coach and manager, become the general manager.

ELF commissioner Patrick Esume claimed that the city’s former National Football League (NFL) Europe franchise, Barcelona Dragons, who no longer exist, was a factor in awarding the city as one of the hosts.

“The choice of our locations is of course a key factor for us – and Barcelona was on our wish list from the very beginning,” said Esume.

“This franchise meets all the criteria regarding the city and possible venues, but also the economic power. Barcelona was a founding member of the NFL Europe with the Dragons, has a long football history and therefore has great fan potential. We are happy that we have come to an agreement.”

Author: Jake Wilkin