National Football League (Ireland)

National Football League (Ireland)

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National Football League (Ireland)

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Description:
The National Football League (known for sponsorship reasons as the Allianz National Football League) is a Gaelic football tournament held annually between the county teams of Ireland, under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The prize for the winning team is the New Ireland Cup, presented by the New Ireland Assurance Company. The league is regarded as the second most prestigious inter-county Gaelic football competition (the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship being the most important). The reigning champions are Cork who retained their title by beating Dublin in the 2011 final.

History

The NFL was first held in 1925–1926, 38 years after the first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, with Laois being the first winners. The League has traditionally played second fiddle to the All-Ireland, with most counties using it as a warm-up for the All-Ireland. This was not helped by the fact that the League was played in winter (November–March usually) while the championship had the more attractive summer dates and knockout structure.

In 2002 the league was changed to a February–April calendar, which has increased interest with attendances growing and live games broadcast on TG4. The 2009 season was broadcast live on Setanta Sports. TG4's coverage of the 2010 finals in Croke Park saw them become the most watched channel with 650,000 viewers tuning into the channel to watch some of the games. The Division 1 final had an average...
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