Chatenay-Malabry is organizing the next Champions Cup for June 28th to 30th. Nicolas Dubes, President of the Europe Powerchair Football Association (EPFA) discusses the third edition of this European Cup
for club teams in the following interview.
What is the Champions Cup? This is the equivalent of the Champions League and our first two competitions were labeled the same, but through our new partnership with UEFA, we were asked to change the name to avoid confusion. It is nevertheless the most important club competition in Europe. Ten teams have qualified and will be divided into two pools.
The first two competitions were held in 2008 and 2010. Why is it not held more often? We would prefer to have an annual competition because this test creates more interesting national championships, but powerchair football is still expanding, particularly in Europe where 60% of the countries have affiliated with our international federation. All of the countries are not yet at the same stage of development and do not all benefit from the same resources. Some clubs and some nations do not have the time nor the finances to travel every year. Consequently, in order to find the proper rhythm to continue to grow the sport and not leave some countries out, the schedule has been what it is. Our new partnership with UEFA opens many prospects and will prove to be essential to growing this effort.
Back to this 3rd edition. What are your expectations? Hopefully, relatively speaking, the contest will be followed with as much interest as the FIPFA World Cup held in Paris in 2011. The spectacle will be at the venue because the difference in the skill levels between the English and French clubs has narrowed. There will also be very interesting matches played during pool play because pool A brings together some very good teams.
Three clubs French, three English… Is the Champions Cup not that of two nations? Actually, a little, but today, twelve European countries are affiliated with our European federation. All do not have the means to have a developed Championship. Then again it works in order to diversify the maximum number of countries represented in this major event. We would like to gather 20 countries within five years, which would require revising the formula; accept more teams and limit the number of clubs qualified by nations. And why not, in the future, create a second European Cup to mix levels?
What will be the next major international event? This will be up to the individual nations, but there will be the European Championship. The place and the date must be confirmed shortly, but this contest is certain to take place in 2014 as it is a qualifying event for the 2015 World Championships.
- Villeneuve-d’Ascq (France)
- Charleroi (Belgium)
- Aspire (England)
- Northern Thunder (England)
- Midlands United
- Århus Rolling Devils (Denmark)
- Châtenay-Malabry (France)
- Vevey (Switzerland)
- Lorient (France)
- SC Albion Eagles (England).
Friday: Pool play in both gyms: Bérégovoy and Leonardo da Vinci.
Saturday: End of pool play and quarter-finals in both gyms.
Sunday: semi-finals and finals at Bérégovoy.
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