Belfast Telegraph

IFA and FAI launch cross-border Unite the Union Champions Cup

The logo for the new cross-border football tournament
The logo for the new cross-border football tournament
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

The Irish Football Association (IFA) and counterparts the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have joined forces to launch a new cross-border competition.

The Unite the Union Champions Cup, which is sponsored by trade union United, will see the top clubs from both the Danske Bank Premiership and SSE Airtricity Premier Division go head to head.

An all-Ireland version of the Uefa Super Cup, it will see the Northern Irish champions - which this year are Linfield - take on the Irish champions in a two-legged final.

This year's inaugural event will take place in November 2019, with Linfield's opponents still to be determined by the outcome of the Premier Division in October.

The winning team will receive €50,000, the losing side will receive €25,000 and a further €25,000 will be awarded to both competing clubs to go to community-based projects in their local area.

"We are delighted to be the first Irish League club to participate in this new Champions Cup and look forward to welcoming the SSE Airtricity League champions to Windsor Park in November," commented Linfield chairman Roy McGivern.

"It is an exciting initiative and we welcome the three year sponsorship commitment from Unite.

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"Whist our priority next season will be to retain the Danske Bank Premiership, this new competition comes at an opportune time as we seek to develop the club at all levels."

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