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CFL's global draft postponed amid coronavirus outbreak

The Canadian Football League’s global draft, originally set for April 16, has been postponed.

The league now plans to hold a 60-player global combine, followed by a five-round global draft in the week prior to the opening of training camps.

If, in fact, camps are held at all. May 17 is the current opening day.

However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league has already been forced to change plans, cancelling its eastern, western and main player combines. Those necessary moves made it much harder for the nine CFL teams to evaluate global players that they had never seen in person.

“In conversations with the teams’ presidents and general managers, there was some concern in not being able to meet and scout the incoming group of global players in person after we were forced to cancel the CFL combine,” commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a Tuesday release.

“The rescheduled global combine and draft in Toronto will provide global players with equal footing to showcase their talents in person, while offering teams a joint platform for fair evaluation.”

The CFL will provide work visas for all 60 global players who attend the combine, though only 45 will be drafted and will advance to training camps. The Ottawa Redblacks have the first pick in the global draft, followed in order by Toronto, B.C., Edmonton, Montreal, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Hamilton and the Grey Cup-champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.


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