CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie secures four more international deals

HELSINKI — CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie concluded his trip to Europe on Thursday by adding four more international partners.

The league announced it has secured partnership agreements with football officials from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Under terms of those deals, the top players from all four countries will participate in the CFL national combine next month in Toronto.

“Our discussions here have been as positive as we could have hoped they would be,” Ambrosie said in a statement.

That increases the CFL list of international partners to eight after securing prior agreements with Mexico’s Liga de Futbol Americano Profesional, the German Football League, French American Football Federation and Austrian Football Federation.

The French and Austrian deals came Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

And like the CFL’s previous deals, the Canadian league and four Nordic counties will work to find way to allow Canadians who’ve completed their university and/or junior careers to continue playing overseas and for Nordic players to attend school and play university football in Canada.

Other elements of the agreement include:

— Developing additional coaching exchanges.

— Finding ways for doctors and physical therapists on both sides to share knowledge and practices.

— Seeking joint business opportunities in broadcast, digital and gaming circles, That includes the potential development of a Nordic edition of the ’CFL Football Frenzy,’ app.

“There is so much we can do together and learn from one another,” said Lars Carlsen, Athletic Director of the Danish football federation.

Carlsen, the head coach of Denmark’s national team, attended the B.C. Lions’ training camp last year.

“There are opportunities to grow the game across the board,” added Jorgen Benestad-Johansen, Sports Manager of the Norwegian football federation who also served as a guest coach with the Western Mustangs.

The four federations boast 149 clubs and 10,900 total players.

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