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Saturday 24 August 2019

One cup in, one cup out for FAI

Fran Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile
Fran Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile

League champions Dundalk can add another €50,000 to their coffers as the sponsors of a new All-Ireland cup competition have confirmed an overall prize fund of €100,000 for the new trophy.

But the beleaguered association in Abbotstown have been hit with another issue to cope with as the FAI Junior Cup final, due to be played at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow between Sheriff YC and St Michael's, has been postponed.

Aisling Annacotty lodged a protest regarding player eligibility in their 1-0 semi-final loss to Sheriff YC and almost at the last minute, the FAI Junior Council Key Committee have decided to postpone the Junior final. The Intermediate Cup final, between Avondale United and Crumlin United, goes ahead as planned at the Aviva tomorrow.

Four months ago, the FAI had to row back on a claim by League Director Fran Gavin that a new competition, played between the winners of the League of Ireland and the Irish League, had been agreed as the IFA stated the idea had yet to be confirmed.

Now it's official, with the unwieldy title of Unite the Union Champions Cup, sponsored by the Unite trade union.

Linfield will play Dundalk, over two legs, in November. The winners get €50,000, with half that going to the beaten side, and Unite have pledged €25,000 from the overall prize find to "community-based projects in the competing teams' local areas".

The most recent cross-border competition, the Setanta Cup, was abandoned in 2014 after nine seasons.

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