EFAF European Junior Championships 2013 at Cologne and Dusseldorf
The 11th EFAF European Junior Championships in American football this year will be held on August 23 and August 25 in Germany's Rhine region: The semi-finals take place on Friday, August 23, in VfL Benrath stadium in Dusseldorf, the grand final and the game for third place will be played on Sunday, August 25, in the stadium of Sportpark Höhenberg at Cologne. Germany will host defending European Junior Champion Austria in one the semifinals. The second semi-final will be played between the winners of the two remaining qualifiers France vs. Russia and Sweden vs. Denmark.
The stadium in the Sportpark Höhenberg, in which the 11th U19 American football European Champion will be crowned, has been extensively renovated during the last year, for instance a new floodlighting system was installed. In addition to the stadium the sports complex features additional fields and warm-up areas and as well as the facility in Dusseldorf-Benrath will be an excellent site to host the games of European elite junior players. German American football federation AFVD is hosting the event as the Russian federation had to withdraw from its bid for Chelyabinsk after the meteorite strike in that region back in February.
Germany won four of the previous European Junior Championships, more than any other nation, most recently in 2008. In 2011 however Austria won its first championship by beating France in the final game by 24-14 at Seville/Spain. Within Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia traditionally is one of the strongholds of junior football. The reigning German junior champion of the past two seasons are the Cologne Falcons, the most successful club in German junior American football history are the Dusseldorf Panther who won 15 German Championships between 1982 and 2010. So when the European Junior Championships 2013 will be played in this area it is certainly a bit like European junior football is coming home...