XFL-CFL partnership off, XFL targeting 2023 return
XFL referee Reggie Smith gestures with the XFL logo as backdrop in the first quarter of the game between the LA Wildcats and the Dallas Renegades. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

XFL-CFL partnership off, XFL targeting 2023 return

The potential partnership between the Canadian Football League and XFL never truly got off the ground. Whether or not the XFL will ever hold even one more game is up in the air. 

Per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, the CFL announced Wednesday that talks with XFL officials about a working agreement are formally off. 

"Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive," the CFL said in a prepared statement. "While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time.

"We at the CFL are now squarely focused on preparing for August 5th and the start of our 2021 regular season, which will culminate December 12 with the playing of the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton, Ontario. We are looking forward to this year and a bright future for our league." 

The CFL confirmed its format and schedule for the upcoming campaign last month. It was back in March when the two organizations announced they were working "to identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football." 

Additionally, the XFL has pushed its planned relaunch from 2022 to 2023. 

"While our discussions with the CFL did not ultimately lead to a collaboration, the effort reinforced our belief and commitment to developing the XFL for international spring football," the XFL explained in a statement Alper shared. "We look forward to seeing everyone for kickoff in spring of 2023."

The XFL prematurely ended its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and WWE chairman Vince McMahon sold the league to Dany Garcia, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners for a reported $15 million the subsequent summer. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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