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A CROSS-border competition involving clubs from the eircom League and the Irish League appears to have taken a significant step forward following yesterday's FAI annual general meeting which, interestingly, was staged in Derry City for the first time.

The meeting, which ended on a positive and united note given the controversies which have surrounded the FAI over recent months, confirmed that a "major international sponsor" had been secured by the FAI for such a competition.

FAI chief executive, Fran Rooney, confirmed that "substantial sponsorship" had been secured and negotiations on the possibility of the tournament were ongoing.

"We have not yet decided the format of the tournament or, indeed, how many teams will be involved but the FAI has secured substantial sponsorship which, obviously, was a major step," said Mr. Rooney.

"I would be hopeful that an announcement of our plans would be made within the next few weeks," added the Chief Executive.


It's understood the tournament would involve the top two or three clubs from each league's Premier Division and the FAI and Irish Cup winners.

It was also confirmed during the meeting that the FAI and the Scottish FA would be involved in negotiations regarding the staging of the European Championships in 2012.

It's believed discussions with the relevant authorities, including the Irish Government, took place at the recent 2004 Championships in Portugal and further negotiations have been planned.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2004
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