NIFL Championship

Last updated
NIFL Championship
NIFL Championship.png
Founded2008 (as IFA Championship)
Country Northern Ireland
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to NIFL Premiership
Relegation to NIFL Premier Intermediate League
Domestic cup(s) Irish Cup
League cup(s) Northern Ireland Football League Cup
Current champions Portadown (2019–20)
Current: 2020–21 season

The Northern Ireland Football League Championship (known as the Bluefin Sport Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the second level of the Northern Ireland Football League, the national football league in Northern Ireland. Clubs in the Championship can be promoted to the highest national division - the Irish Premiership, and relegated to the third level - the NIFL Premier Intermediate League.

Contents

It was founded in 2008 as the Premier Intermediate League for members of the previous IFA Intermediate League that met the new stricter membership criteria, [1] though was marketed as the IFA Championship. [2] In 2009, it was extended to two divisions: Championship 1 and Championship 2 with promotion and relegation between the two. [3] In 2013, the Championship and IFA Premiership were replaced by a single Northern Ireland Football League, independent of the Irish Football Association (IFA).

Under reforms agreed by the Irish League clubs in 2014, from 2016–17, Championship 1 acquired senior status, continuing as the Irish League Championship, while Championship 2 continued as the Premier Intermediate League, retaining its intermediate status. [4]

Current NIFL Championship clubs (2019–20)

ClubStadiumLocationCapacity [5]
Ards Bangor Fuels Arena Bangor 1,895 (500 seated)
Ballinamallard United Ferney Park Ballinamallard 2,000 (250 seated)
Ballyclare Comrades Dixon Park Ballyclare 5,333
Dergview Darragh Park Castlederg 1,200
Dundela Wilgar Park Belfast 2,500
Harland & Wolff Welders Tillysburn Park Belfast 3,000
Knockbreda Breda Park Belfast 1,000
Loughgall Lakeview Park Loughgall 3,000
Newry City The Showgrounds Newry 2,275 (1,080 seated)
Portadown Shamrock Park Portadown 3,940 (2,765 seated)
PSNI Newforge Lane Belfast 1,500
Queen's University Upper Malone Belfast 1,000 (330 seated)

See also

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References

  1. "Premier Intermediate League (PIL)". Irish Football Association . irishfa.com. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  2. "IFA Championship". Irish Football Association . irishfa.com. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  3. Ladbrokes.com Championship 2009/10
  4. Northern Ireland Football League (2014). NI Football League Restructure Proposal.
  5. "Championship 2019/2020 - Venues". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 February 2020.