The Northern Ireland Women's Football Association (NIWFA) is the governing body of women's association football in Northern Ireland.It was founded in 1977.
Prior to 1977, there was no organizing body for women's football in Northern Ireland. Following the case of the Republic of Ireland forming the Women's Football Association of Ireland. The Women's football association of Ireland catered to 6,500 who played for 350 teams.The NIWFA was founded in 1977 to be the governing body in Northern Ireland. Prior to official foundation, the inaugural meeting was held in 1976 to form a national league to be played in the summer with 35 minutes each half. The league initially was formed of 18 NIWFA associated teams, however this number later rose to 50. In 1993, the NIWFA became affiliated with the men's Irish Football Association (IFA) but retained sole control of women's football in Northern Ireland. In 1998, the NIWFA became fully integrated with the IFA with the IFA becoming responsible for development of women's football in Northern Ireland while the NIWFA retained its separate identity. Since 2001 the NIWFA has had a representative on the IFA Council. This agreement also allowed the NIWFA to continue playing their league matches on Sundays instead of joining the IFA who had banned Sunday football until 2008.
The NIWFA is responsible for the running of women's competitions in Northern Ireland. They run the Women's Premier League and the IFA Women's Challenge Cup as the major competitions.The NIWFA has the authority to discipline and fine clubs as well as the authority to remove them from competition if clubs fail to fulfill fixtures or lack the sufficient number of players. Both were factors in the NIWFA ejecting and banning Fermanagh Mallards F.C. from the Women's Premier League in 2013.
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an Irish international amateur sporting and cultural organisation, focused primarily on promoting indigenous Gaelic games and pastimes, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and rounders. The association also promotes Irish music and dance, as well as the Irish language.
The Irish Football Association (IFA) is the governing body for association football in Northern Ireland. It organised the Ireland national football team from 1880 to 1950, which after 1954, became the Northern Ireland national football team.
Ballinamallard United Football Club is a semi-professional Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Championship. The club, re-formed in 1975 after being dormant since the 1960s, hails from Ballinamallard, near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and plays its home matches at Ferney Park. Club colours are all royal blue (home), and all white (away).
The Northern Ireland football league system is categorised into three levels: senior, intermediate and junior. Clubs attain intermediate status by fulfilling certain criteria. Senior status requires clubs to reach stricter criteria. National leagues exist at senior and intermediate level. All junior leagues and some intermediate are organised on a regional basis.
Association football in Northern Ireland, widely known as football or sometimes as soccer, is the most popular sports in Northern Ireland. The governing body in Northern Ireland is the Irish Football Association (IFA). Gaelic football, rugby union and association football are the most popular sports in Northern Ireland.
Comber Recreation Football Club is an intermediate, Northern Irish football club based in Comber, playing in Division 1A of the Northern Amateur Football League. The club was founded in 1950 as Comber Youth Club. Its home ground is located at Parkway in Comber. The team is managed by Phil Mcdonagh. In addition to its first XI, Comber also fields two reserve teams and four youth teams. The 2nd XI currently play in the Amateur League Division 3A while the 3rd XI are in the 3rd Division of the Newcastle and District Football League having joined it in the season 2015/16. At the end of their first season, they gained promotion to Division 2. In 2005, Comber's youth teams started playing in the East Antrim Youth League and then in 2012 the under-14 team moved to the lisburn youth league while the under-15 and 17 teams moved to the
The Football Association of Ireland is the governing body for association football in the Republic of Ireland.
Sport in Northern Ireland plays an important role in the lives of many Northern Irish people. Most sports are organised on an all-Ireland basis, for example rugby union, gaelic games, basketball, rugby league, hockey and cricket, whereas others, like association football and netball are organised on a separate basis for Northern Ireland.
The Irish Universities Football Union is the governing body for university association football in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is responsible for organizing the Collingwood Cup, the major cup competition for Irish universities. It also manages the only two all Ireland association football leagues – the College & Universities Football League and the Women's Soccer Colleges Association of Ireland League. It is affiliated to the Dublin–based Football Association of Ireland and works closely with both the College Football Association of Ireland (CFAI) and the Belfast–based Irish Football Association. The IUFU also selects the teams that represent Ireland at the Summer Universiade.
Ferney Park is a football stadium in Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is the home stadium of Ballinamallard United. It was first used by Ballinamallard United in 1975, when the club was founded.
The Leinster Football Association (LFA) is the governing body for association football in the Irish province of Leinster. It is responsible for organizing the Leinster Senior Cup and the Leinster Senior League as well as numerous other leagues and cup competitions for junior and youth teams. It was founded in 1892 and is the oldest football association in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Outside of the United Kingdom, only the national football associations of Denmark and the Netherlands are older. It was originally affiliated to the Belfast–based Irish Football Association, but following the partition of Ireland in 1921, it seceded from the IFA and subsequently played a leading role in the establishment of the Dublin–based Football Association of Ireland. It remains closely associated with the FAI and even shares a headquarters.
The Women's Premiership is the top level women's football league of Northern Ireland. The league was called the NIWFA Division League 1 until 2003 and Premier League until 2015. In 2016, it was rebranded the Women's Premiership and is run by the NI Football League since.
For the equivalent tournament in the Republic of Ireland, see FAI Women's Cup.
Fermanagh Mallards Football Club is a women's association football club based in Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. They play their home matches at Ballinamallard United F.C.'s Ferney Park. The club was founded in 2005 and is the only women's football team in County Fermanagh. They are not currently affiliated with any league after being ejected from the Women's Premier League in June 2013.
The Irish Football League, known historically, and still colloquially, as the Irish Football League, is the national football league of Northern Ireland. The Irish League was originally formed in 1890, with the league in its current format created in 2013 to assume independent collective management of the top three levels of the Northern Ireland football league system; namely the Premiership, Championship and Premier Intermediate League.
Shankill United Predators Football Club is a women's association football club based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and play at Hammer Park. They were founded in the 1990s as Predators F.C. and have undergone a number of name changes since foundation. They currently play in the Women's Championship after being relegated from the Women's Premier League in 2014.
Sunday football in Northern Ireland has been a controversial issue. Until 2008, the Irish Football Association (IFA) under IFA Article 27, prohibited any clubs affiliated with them from playing association football matches on Sunday. The ban initially came from various government legislation, both local and national. Northern Ireland's Protestant Christian majority's observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, was also a major factor which amounted to a continuance of the observance of tradition for a lot longer than in the rest of the UK. It was also a way to combat a perceived encroachment on their culture by Catholics. Since the abolition of the ban, teams can play matches on Sunday if they have mutual agreement, although some teams such as Linfield have club rules against such games.
Newry City Ladies Football Club is a women's association football club based in Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. They were founded in 2011 and re-founded in 2012. They are currently affiliated to Newry City A.F.C. men's team and play at The Showgrounds.
Mid-Ulster Ladies Football Club is a women's association football club based in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The club was founded in 2000 and currently plays in the Women's Premier League and at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.
Kirsty McGuinness is a Northern Irish women's association football player and GAA player. She plays football for Sion Swifts and the Northern Ireland women's national football team. She plays Gaelic games for Antrim GAA.