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Unite The Union Champions Cup to Expand in 2021

First Team News
// 23 Nov 2020

Following the postponement of this year’s tournament due to COVID-19, the FAI and IFA have announced that the Unite the Union Champions Cup, which currently resides in the Oriel Park trophy cabinet, will be expanded in 2021.

The new format will see respective league champions Shamrock Rovers and Linfield joined by the next top placed teams in the 2021 League of Ireland and 2020/21 Northern Ireland Football League seasons for a four-team tournament, with the regionalised semi-finals and the final scheduled for late 2021.

The sponsorship for the postponed 2020 event will be rolled over to benefit participating clubs in the 2021 competition. The new format has been welcomed by the FAI and the IFA as they continue to work together for the benefit of the domestic game on both sides of the border with the key goal of achieving long term benefits for all clubs.

Dundalk captain Pat Hoban introduces the players to Len McCluskey of Unite before the 2019 Unite the Union Champions Cup first leg match with Linfield at Windsor Park in Belfast. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the format for the Unite the Union Champions Cup and we are delighted to announce this new four-team tournament for 2021 due to the enforced postponement of this year’s competition,” said League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon.

“The clubs in the League of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Football League have called for more cross-border competition and co-operation and we have been delighted with the support of the IFA and NIFL in rescheduling and enhancing the Unite the Union Champions Cup.

Dundalk won the inaugural Unite the Union Champions Cup last year with a 7-1 aggregate win over Linfield in the two-legged final.