Northern Ireland Football League Cup

The Northern Ireland Football League Cup (BetMcLean League Cup for sponsorship purposes), also known colloquially as the Irish League Cup,[1][2] is a national football knock-out cup competition in Northern Ireland open to all member clubs of the Northern Ireland Football League. It is the third-most prestigious competition in domestic Northern Irish football after the NIFL Premiership and Irish Cup. It should not be confused with the Irish League Floodlit Cup which ran from 1987–88 to 1997–98. Unlike the Irish Cup, the League Cup does not have a berth for UEFA Europa Conference League qualification. The cup has been operated by the Northern Ireland Football League since the 2013–14 season when it took over the administration from the Irish Football Association (IFA), after which the cup was renamed to the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) Cup.[3]

Northern Ireland Football League Cup
Organising bodyNorthern Ireland Football League
Founded1987
Region Northern Ireland
Number of teams35
Current championsColeraine (2019–20)
Most successful club(s)Linfield (10 wins)
2021–22

Since the 2017–18 season, the Cup has been sponsored by McLean Bookmakers.[4] The competition's previous sponsors are JBE (2015–16),[5] WASP Solutions (2013–14 and 2014–15),[6] Irn Bru (2011–12 and 2012–13),[7] Co-operative Insurance (2001–02 to 2010–11), Coca-Cola (1998–99 to 2000–01), Wilkinson Sword (1991–92 to 1997–98), and Roadferry Freight (1986–87 to 1990–91).

Coleraine are the current holders, after they defeated Crusaders 2–1 in the 2020 final to win the competition for a second time, the first time they had won the trophy since the 1987–88 season.


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