CFL announces it has jointly halted talks with XFL on formation of potential partnership

New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. It seems the CFL shouldn't be holding its breath for much-needed financial assistance from the Canadian government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The CFL says partnership talks with the XFL have been jointly halted.

In March, the CFL and XFL announced they were poised to begin serious talks about a potential partnership.

Read more: CFL, XFL face plenty of hurdles if they want to join forces and form a partnership

Neither side said who initiated talks first, only that they’d agreed to collaborating on ways to grow football.

“Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement Wednesday.

“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.”

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Click to play video: 'What’s next following discussions between XFL and CFL'
What’s next following discussions between XFL and CFL

“We at the CFL are now squarely focused on preparing for Aug. 5 and the start of our 2021 regular season, which will culminate Dec. 12 with the playing of the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton, Ont.,” Ambrosie said.

“We are looking forward to this year and a bright future for our league.”

Read more: CFL going ahead with August start to 2021 season

The CFL didn’t play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s scheduled to begin a 14-game campaign Aug. 5.

Training camps are slated to open Saturday.

There was no immediate comment from the XFL.

The CFL’s announcement, though, was welcomed by the Edmonton Elks.

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“The Edmonton Elks Football Club is pleased by Wednesday’s announcement by the CFL that discussions with the XFL have ended,” the team said in a statement. “The Elks remain fully committed to the CFL and our treasured brand of Canadian Football.”

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