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Biting Back: Uefa show respect for the Irish League

By Conor McLaughlin

They get something of a slating about their attitude towards Irish League football, but it seems Uefa actually hold our game in particularly high esteem. Take this evening's League Cup second round ties for example.

The NI Football League, wary that going up against the televised Manchester City v Liverpool game could have a negative impact on attendances, made a special request to stage the matches tomorrow night instead.

Uefa, similarly concerned that live internet streaming of Institute v Dollingstown might stop fans flocking to the various Champions League play-offs across Europe, dragged their heels on making a decision, leaving NIFL with no option other than to proceed with their original Monday schedule.

Which is why when those of you who choose to get your football kicks from an armchair or barstool tune in to Sky Sports 1 tonight, you'll be greeted by swathes of empty seats at the Etihad Stadium – everyone will have stayed at home to tap into online coverage of Warrenpoint against the Welders.

Or at least that's how European football's governing body seem to think it works. Why else would they ban Irish League action on the same night as Champions League football?

Uefa evidently believe the continent's premier club competition is no match for the Wasp Solutions League Cup. Either that or they're completely out of touch with reality.

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