Northern Ireland Football League

The Northern Ireland Football League (commonly abbreviated to NIFL), known historically, and still colloquially, as the Irish League,[2][3][4] 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.

Northern Ireland Football League
Founded1890 (as Irish Football League)
Country Ireland (1890–1921)
Northern Ireland (since 1921)
ConfederationUEFA
DivisionsNIFL Premiership
NIFL Championship
NIFL Premier Intermediate League
NIFL Premiership Development League
NIFL Youth League
NIFL Women’s Premiership
Number of teams35
Level on pyramid1–3
Relegation toBallymena & Provincial League
Mid-Ulster Football League
Northern Amateur League
Northern Ireland Intermediate League
Domestic cup(s)Irish Cup
League cup(s)Northern Ireland Football League Cup
George Wilson Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Scottish Challenge Cup
Current championsLinfield (55th title)
(2020–21)
Most championshipsLinfield (55 titles)
TV partnersBBC NI (highlights via BBC iPlayer)[1] Sky Sports (5 games a season and League Cup Final)
Websitewww.nifootballleague.com
Current: 2020–21

In addition to the league divisions, the NIFL also operates the Northern Ireland Football League Cup for its member clubs, as well as the NIFL Development League and George Wilson Cup for their reserve teams, and the NIFL Youth League and NIFL Youth League Cup for their youth teams. Operated as a limited company, the 35 member clubs act as shareholders with one vote each.[5][6] The NIFL is the successor to the Irish Football League, which was historically the league for the entire island of Ireland upon its formation in 1890; it became Northern Ireland's national league after the partition of Ireland in 1921.

Linfield are the current champions, after winning the 2020–21 title on 25 May 2021 with a 1–1 draw against Coleraine. This was a world record equalling 55th top flight league title, a record shared with Scottish club, Rangers.


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