European Football Business Leagues United - Passion, fun and fair play

EFBLU summary of 2019

26 January 2020 /

In the past year, EFBLU together with our member leagues organized four international tournaments in four different European countries. Interestingly, the final match of each of them ended 1-1 in regular time and was decided with a penalty shootout.

First, we visited the Latvian capital of Riga where local organizers STRONG and Riga Football Federation delivered a great EFBLU European Tour 2 on 6th April. The first edition of our Tour also took place in Riga and we were very happy to be back in this wonderful city situated on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Daugava river.

The local Elektrum olimpiskais centrs hosted us again but this time we played futsal. 10 teams from 7 countries participated in the competition which was again won by the very strong team of Minskenergo from the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Local STRONG finished second and Eesti Energia from the Estonian town of Jõhvi came third.

The individual awards were won by STRONG's Ilija Plonskyi (Best player), Klaipeda City's Donatas Stankevičius (Top goalscorer) and Minskenergo's Andrei Zayats (Best goalkeeper).

We continued our journey with a stop in Madrid for EFBLU European Tour 3. It was organized at Trivema Naval by our Spanish members FutbolEmpresas on 15th-16th June and featured 12 teams from 7 countries. The final was an all-Iberian affair in which Empark from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon defeated the local Alfa Microgés. Marco Vet (Bucharet, Romania) grabbed the bronze medals with a 5-2 win over SBTech (Plovdiv, Bulgaria).

Empark's Ronaldo Lumungo Afonso was the big star of the tournament as he scored the most goals and was also voted the MVP. Jorge Abad of the silver medalists Alfa Microgés was selected as the best goalkeeper.

The main event of the year, EFBLU European Cup 3, took place in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv - the 2019 European Capital of Culture. The local Football Corporate League organized the tournament in the new Atrim Arena. Similarly to the tournament in Madrid, 12 teams from 7 countries arrived to play for the EFBLU's European crown.

For the first time we had participants from Serbia and one of them, Belgrade's Eko Grocka, the champions of Serbian Poslovna liga u fudbalu 6+1, triumphed at the end by defeating Bucharest's AD Auto Total, the champions of Romanian Liga Companiilor, in the final.

Bobrujsk brewery, the champions of the Belarusian KBF, made an impressive debut in an EFBLU tournament by winning the bronze medals with a 4-2 win over Hidroconstrucţia from the Romanian capital of Bucharest in the small final.

Plenty of very good players participated in Plovdiv but Cristian Iordan (AD Auto Total) impressed the most and won the MVP award. Miloš Marinković (Eko Grocka) scored the most goals while Yauheni Hrydzin (Bobrujsk brewery) was selected as the best goalkeeper.

We closed the year with EFBLU European Cup 4 in Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region in Italy. The tournament was organized by our Italian partners CUN Company and Serie i - Campionato per Imprese at Sports Center S. Ambrogio on 7th-8th December.

The tournament set three EFBLU records - for most participating teams (16), most participating teams from one country (5 from Romania) and most participating countries (8). Intel from the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod emerged victorious while the Romanian representatives from Bucharest, Catena Racing Team and Gemini Solutions, took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The individual awards went to Catena Racing Team's Mihai-Iulian Cană (Best player), Intel's Artyom Tyulnev (Top goalscorer) and Gemini Solutions' Răzvan-Nicolae Grancea (Best goalkeeper).

Interestingly, in Milan we had 2 players who played for the national teams of their countries in the past - Deniss Romanovs and
Bogdan Pătrașcu. Goalkeeper Romanovs recorded 5 international caps for Latvia and represented such football clubs as Skonto, Dinamo Bucureşti and Slavia Prague while midfielder Pătrașcu featured 2 times for Romania and played for clubs like Litex Lovech, Piacenza, Padova and Dinamo București.

Traditionally, we continued the exchange of experience and knowledge between our member leagues. Representatives of the leagues were travelling to the tournaments abroad to provide some help to the local organizers. They were accompanying the teams from their countries and sometimes even bringing referees from their leagues.

PKO Bank Polski (Warsaw, Poland) provided another story of the year by maintaining their perfect participation record in EFBLU tournaments. They are the only team which has participated in all 7 EFBLU tournaments so far!

We thank all the participants in the 2019 EFBLU tournaments and look forward to meeting you again in 2020 :)