Friday 24 May 2019

FAI and IFA confirm new two-legged cross-border competition between league champions

Dundalk players, from left to right, Patrick Hoban, Stephen Folan, John Mountney, Stephen O'Donnell and Ronan Murray celebrate with the trophy following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Louth. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Dundalk players, from left to right, Patrick Hoban, Stephen Folan, John Mountney, Stephen O'Donnell and Ronan Murray celebrate with the trophy following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Louth. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The FAI and the IFA have announced a new two-legged cup competition between the winners of the SSE Airtricity League and the Danske Bank Premiership.

The competition will be known as the Unite the Union Champions Cup, and will take place for the first time in November 2019. Unite have signed a three-year deal to sponsor the cross-border tournament with €50,000 set to go to the winners, €25,000 for the runners-up and a further €25,000 ring-fenced for community-based projects in the competing team’s local areas.

Fran Gavin, FAI Competitions Director, said: "We're delighted to formally announce the Unite the Union Champions Cup and we're extremely excited for the competition to begin.

"I'd like to thank the IFA, in particular Patrick Nelson, who have been fantastic to work with on the project and it's great to see a cross-border tournament return. The clubs and players in the SSE Airtricity League are incredibly excited to see a competition like this back on the domestic calendar.

"I'd also like to thank Unite, in particular Brendan Ogle and his colleagues, for their sponsorship of the tournament and the community work they're committed to as part of the competition, both north and south of the border. It's a unique sponsorship and we're looking forward to help promote Unite's equality agenda."

Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive of the Irish FA, added: "This is a fantastic new cross-border competition and one that I am sure will capture the imagination of football fans right across the island of Ireland.

"I would like to thank Unite the Union for their sponsorship, especially for ring-fencing a significant sum for community projects. This is a competition that will bring people together and one that will have lasting benefits for clubs as well as fans."

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