NIFL Championship 1

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NIFL Championship 1
Belfast Telegraph Championship logo.jpg
Country Northern Ireland
Founded 2013
2008–2013 (as IFA Championship)
2004–2008 (as IFA Intermediate League)
2003–2004 (as Irish League)
1999–2003 (as Irish League Second Division)
(as Irish League B Division Section 1)
1951–1977 (as Irish League B Division)
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to NIFL Premiership
Relegation to NIFL Championship 2
Domestic cup(s) Irish Cup
IFA Intermediate Cup
League cup(s) Northern Ireland League Cup
Current champions Ards (2015–16)
Most championships Dundela (10½)
2015–16 NIFL Championship

NIFL Championship 1 is the second division of the Northern Ireland Football League, the national football league in Northern Ireland, and the highest intermediate division in Northern Ireland.

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). The NI Football League is a private company that has 40 member clubs from the Premiership, Championship 1 & 2, who are each shareholders.[4] The Championship is sponsored by the Belfast Telegraph and is marketed as the Belfast Telegraph Championship.[5]

Results from Championship 1 are featured on the Press Association vidiprinter service. However, they are rarely seen by television viewers as the Saturday results often do not appear until after 5.15pm and therefore are not featured during the reading of the classified results. The results from Championship 2 are not carried on the Press Association vidiprinter service.

2016 restructuring

Under reforms agreed by the NIFL clubs in 2014, from 2016, the current Championship 1 will acquire senior status, continuing as the NIFL Championship, while Championship 2 will continue as the Premier Intermediate League, retaining its intermediate status.2017 restructuring. The Championship 2 will have 16 teams along with the newly named NIFL Premier League and NIFL Championship to help boost Northern Ireland Football League get 2 automatic places in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.[6][7]

Current NIFL Championship 1 clubs (2016–17)

See also


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  3. Championship 2009/10
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  7. Northern Ireland Football League (2014). NI Football League Restructure Proposal.


  • Malcolm Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook (various editions)