The Elite Football League of India (EFLI) is a professional American football league based in India. It was founded with eight franchises in 2011, and now has 23 franchises throughout South Asia, among whom 20 located in India, two in Sri Lanka and one in Pakistan.
|Most recent season or competition:|
2012 EFLI season
|Founded||5 August 2011|
|No. of teams||23|
|Country|| India (20 teams)|
Pakistan (1 team)
Sri Lanka (2 teams)
|Pune Marathas (1st title)|
|Most titles||Pune Marathas (1)|
|TV partner(s)||TEN Sports|
In August 2011, the EFLI announced the launch of the league. The aim of the league is to introduce American football to the Indian market and its large consumer base. The organisation's management team consists of United States and Indian business and entertainment executives, and several U.S. sports figures. U.S. brand marketing consultant Sunday Zeller is noted as the founder.
Prominent investors include Brandon Chillar an Indian American linebacker from the Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers who played eight games that 2010 season until an injury put him on the injured reserve list, Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Ditka, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, and former NFL quarterbacks Ron Jaworski and Kurt Warner. Investors outside of the sports community include U.S. actor and entertainment producer Mark Wahlberg.
The first regular season games began 22 September 2012. EFLI games are broadcast on television in India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, and in the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Japan on Ten Sports. This will represent a potential audience of over 500 million viewers.
The EFLI management's intent is to draw current rugby players from India over to the sport, in part by paying higher salaries than the rugby leagues. In the announcement of the league on 5 August 2011, CEO Richard Whelan noted that orientation programmes had attracted over 4,000 interested players in the previous month alone. Similar orientation events are planned for Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to attract a wide talent pool.
Ownership of the teams will follow a franchise system, similar to the structure of the NFL, and ownership will be determined in an auction format. Unlike ownership rules in other Indian sports leagues, bidding will be open to both Indian and non-Indian investors alike. Although specifics about league finances have not been announced, officials note that 15% of revenues will be shared with the Ministry of Sports.
While the teams represent cities across India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, all games for the inaugural season were hosted in Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Sports Authority of India provided also the Balewadi Stadium, which was used for pre-season activities. The games were held in a round-robin format so that all teams played each other.
The expansion plans include total of 24 teams, as a part of a project, which aims to expand to 52 teams by 2022.
|Season||Elite Bowl||Final Venue||MVP||# of Teams|
|Pune Marathas||06–00||Delhi Defenders||Sugathadasa Stadium,
Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Roshan Lobo (RB, Warhawks)||8|
in favour of inaugural EFLI University Championship
In the table below, teams are ordered first by number of wins, then by number of appearances, and finally by year of first appearance. In the "Season(s)" column, bold years indicate winning seasons.
In 2012, the filmmaking duo Evan Rosenfeld and Jenna Moshell began following the EFLI and chronicling its inaugural season and the introduction of American football to South Asia in the documentary Birth of a Sport.
The 2012 Elite Football League of India season or 2012 EFLI season was the debut season of Elite Football League of India and began on 22 September 2012. Eight franchises contested for the Elite Bowl, among whom five located in India, two in Sri Lanka and one in Pakistan.
The Pune Marathas claimed the title after defeating Delhi Defenders 6–0 in the Elite Bowl I on 10 November 2012 and became the first ever champions of an Elite Bowl.2012 in Indian sports
Between the 2012 Summer Olympics and traditional sports, many significant events occurred this year in Indian sports. Below is a timeline.Bangalore Warhawks
The Bangalore Warhawks are a professional American football team based in Bangalore, India. The Warhawks are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the West Division, where they finished as semi-finalists.
The team was originally slated to play in Bhubaneshwar, but officials have since moved the franchise. The team is owned by Buffalo Bills player Mario Williams.Colombo Lions
The Colombo Lions are a professional American football team based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Lions are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the East Division, where they finished as semi-finalists.
The Colombo Lions play at 25,000 capacity Sugathadasa Stadium. The team is led by Dilroy Fernando, a one-time rugby union player and COO of EFLI's Sri Lankan efforts. The team's management have selected their 45-man roster, formed a company for operations and expect that the salaries paid to players will surpass that of Sri Lankan rugby players while rivaling contracts offered by cricket teams.Delhi Defenders
The Delhi Defenders are a professional American football team based in Delhi, India. The Defenders are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the East Division, where they finished as runners-up after a successful qualifying for the Elite Bowl I.Hyderabad Skykings
The Hyderabad Skykings were a professional American football team based in Hyderabad, India. They were members of the East Division in the Elite Football League of India (EFLI).
Originally based in Kandy, Sri Lanka and called the Kandy Skykings, the team formally joined the EFLI in 2011 and began play in the 2012 season.Kolkata Vipers
The Kolkata Vipers are a professional American football team based in Kolkata, India. The Vipers are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the East Division.Lakshmi Narain College of Technology
The Lakshmi Narain College of Technology (abbreviated LNCTB or LNCT Bhopal) is a technology-oriented institute of higher education established by LNCT Group of Colleges.Mumbai Gladiators
The Mumbai Gladiators are a professional American football team based in Mumbai, India. The Gladiators are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the West Division.
The team's debut match incidentally is the league's first match as well. The Gladiators began their season by playing against the Pune Marathas in November 2012.Pakistan Wolfpak
The Pakistan Wolfpak are a professional American football team based in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Wolfpaks are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the West Division.It is also the first ever American football team in Pakistan.Poornima University
Poornima University is located in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.Pune Marathas (American football)
The Pune Marathas are a professional American football team based in Pune, India. The Marathas are one of the first eight franchises of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) and compete in its inaugural season in 2012 as a member of the West Division, where they became the first ever champions of an Elite Bowl.
The training sessions was a five-week training camp led by former NFL player and Arena Football League coach Doug Plank.The team's debut match incidentally is the league's first match as well. The Marathas began their season by playing against the Mumbai Gladiators in November 2012.Sandy Grossman
Sanford Morton "Sandy" Grossman (June 12, 1935 – April 2, 2014) was an American sports television director. He directed television broadcasts of 10 Super Bowls, 18 NBA Finals, 5 Stanley Cup finals and Olympic hockey matches. He won eight Emmy Awards for his directing.He was born on June 12, 1935, in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Weequahic High School, he studied broadcasting at the University of Alabama, where he called football games for the school radio station. He graduated in 1957 and wanted to pursue a career in the communication industry, but believed he did not have the right voice to be a broadcaster. Grossman worked as an usher for the Ed Sullivan Theater for several years before obtaining employment at the local CBS station, Channel 2. In 1963, he became a production assistant for CBS Sports. He was the chief director of broadcasting NBA games during the early 1970s and soon became the main N.F.L. director. Grossmann innovated using music at the break of basketball games, and after he played The Hustle by Van McCoy, McCoy sent him a gold record in thanks of his promotion.Grossman began working alongside John Madden and Pat Summerall on CBS in 1981, and their partnership lasted 21 seasons. Madden insisted that Grossman and producer Bob Stenner watch coaches’ films of the NFL teams, which helped Grossman choose the best shots to pair with Madden's commentary. Madden credits him for being the first director to widen the camera shot to incorporate footage of outside linebackers. He created these broadcasts out of a production truck crammed with television monitors that formed a screen shot. During a Giants-Bengals game in 1991, Stenner and Grossman made 1,100 decisions about camera angles and the like.Summerall and Madden decided to move to Fox Sports after that network acquired broadcasting rights to NFL games in 1994, and Grossman followed suit. He retired in 2012. That year, the Elite Football League of India hired Grossman to teach its camera crews how to cover the American sport. “There were some guys who couldn’t follow the players,” he said. “I said, ‘Get the kicker,’ and some of them didn’t know where to find him.”.Grossman died on April 2, 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida. The stated cause of death was cancer. He was survived by his wife, Faithe; sons Bobby and Dean; daughters, Jodi Grossman Rose and Bari Grossman Rosenholtz; and eight grandchildren; Alexa, Jordyn, Kaylie, Paige, Adam, Reese, Eliya, and Zachary. John Madden said about Grossman: “Sandy became like a defensive coordinator, the way he looked at stuff. If they go slot, if they bunch their receivers on one side and they break off — he had a plan for everything, and when it happens, boom, boom, boom, you’re right there. Sandy took the knowledge he got from the film and transferred it to the cameramen, who carried it over to the game.”Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex
The Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex, Balewadi, Mahalunge, Pune is an Indian sports complex, which includes the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium. The complex is situated in Balewadi, Mahalunge Pune, about 14–15 km from Pune downtown and 4–5 km from Hinjawadi, Pune. This complex was the venue for the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.The sports complex is also venue for Khelo India Youth Games, 2019.Sports in Maharashtra
Sports is an important part of the culture of Maharashtra. Kabaddi, Hockey, Kho kho, Badminton, Cricket and Table tennis are the popular sports of Maharashtra.
The Sporting activities in Maharashtra are governed by the Commissionerate of Sports and Youth Servies, Pune.
The wrestling championship like Hind Kesari, Maharashtra Kesari are very popular in the rural regions of Maharashtra. The cricket craze can be seen throughout Maharashtra, as it is the most widely followed and played sport. The Maharashtra has produced many Iconic cricketers to India like Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar. Children games include Gilli-danda and Pakada-pakadi (tag) are also played in Maharashtra.Horse riding, Wrestling, Fencing, Archery and Shooting were popular among the rulers of Maharashtra. Maharashtra has various domestic level Franchise based leagues for Hockey, Chess, Tennis and Badminton.Sports in Pune
Popular games and sports in Pune include athletics, cricket, basketball, badminton, field hockey, football, tennis, kabaddi, paragliding, kho-kho, rowing and chess. The Pune International Marathon is an annual marathon conducted in Pune. The 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Pune.Sugathadasa Stadium
Sugathadasa Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is currently used for football, rugby union, and athletics. The stadium holds 25,000 people and has an on-site hotel.
Elite Football League of India
Sports leagues of India
|Major pro leagues|
|Other national tournaments|
Top-level American football leagues of Asia