NIFL finally calls time on Premiership season but Irish Cup gets green light

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Northern Ireland Football League chiefs have called a halt to the Danske Bank Premiership season. 

There had been protracted discussions between the 12 clubs and league officials about how the campaign - suspended since March - should conclude.

On Tuesday morning, the inevitable was finally confirmed:

The decision was made at a NIFL board meeting on Monday night:

Further details soon emerged:

The early ending comes with seven of the scheduled 38 rounds of fixtures left to play. 

The likely outcome now is that Linfield will finish first with Coleraine runners-up and the two teams representing Northern Ireland in Champions League and Europa League qualifiers respectively. 

Bottom club Institute would be relegated - set to be replaced by the top team in the Championship, Portadown. 

It's hoped a deal can be done to distribute some European prize money to all clubs, but details of this still have to be finalised.

It seems football here is not finished for the summer though as the Irish FA remains determined to play the semi-finals and final of the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup at the end of July.

There are two derby ties in the semis - Coleraine v Ballymena and Cliftonville v Glentoran. 

And it appears to be all systems go:

If Coleraine win the cup, the third European place is likely to go to the team placed third in the Premiership, under the chosen mathematical formula. 

However, it's also been suggested the beaten cup finalists might be nominated for Europe instead. 







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