TORONTO — The Confederação Brasileira de Futebol Americano (CBFA), the gridiron football federation of Brazil, has reached an agreement with the Canadian Football League (CFL) to collectively grow the game.
“It is an honour to be part of this exciting partnership,” said CBFA president Italo Mingoni. “Our work together will showcase the talent and skill of Brazilian players on the world stage and further develop the foundations of the game in our country.”
Brazil becomes the 13th nation to see its gridiron football leadership sign a co-operative agreement with Canada’s professional football league.
“Our international partnerships now include the leading football federations and leagues in South America, Europe and Asia, as well as, Mexico,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the CFL.
“Together, we are building new pathways for players from around the world to seek opportunities in the CFL, for Canadians to play in other countries, and for the league to share its experiences and expertise on coaching, officiating and player development.”
“We are thrilled to build this relationship with the CFL,” added CBFA Chief International Relations Officer Felipe Pereira, who will manage the day-to-day operations of the partnership. “We look forward to exploring opportunities for our players in Canada and to welcoming Canadians to experience Brazilian football.”
Brazil’s football federation has also signed on as the latest member of the International Alliance of Gridiron Football, which was founded last November in Calgary, Canada, prior to the 107th playing of the CFL’s championship game, the Grey Cup.
The Alliance, a multilateral organization dedicated to expanding gridiron football’s footprint around the world, now includes the sport’s federations and elite leagues from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway and Sweden.
In Brazil, more than 18,000 registered players compete in regional leagues. The first and second divisions organized by the CBFA have 30 teams each. The organization boasts more than 400 men’s and women’s teams competing in tackle, flag and beach football. The CBFA also manages the men’s and women’s national teams.
In 2019, the CFL’s nine member clubs featured specially designated “global” players on their rosters for the first time. The league will expand the initiative to include up-to-45 global players in 2020.
The CFL is currently working with its partners in other countries to host scouting combines this winter in Europe, Japan and Mexico, before holding the CFL Global Draft in April.
“We welcome Brazil to what has become a global movement to strengthen this great game everywhere it’s played,” Ambrosie said. “We share a love of football and respect for those who work hard and work together to help it grow.”