Earlier today, the FAI announced a new two-legged fixture between the League of Ireland winners and the 2018-19 Danske Bank Premiership champions of Northern Ireland at their official Airtricity League 2019 launch. However, this has taken the Northern Ireland Football League by surprise.
The announcement came at the Aviva Stadium as FAI Competitions Director Fran Gavin announced "the introduction of a new cross-border competition." All the details were not forthcoming but it was confirmed the second leg would be live on RTE.
Fran Gavin announces there will be an end of season two-leg fixture between the Airtricity League winners and the Danske Bank Irish Premiership champions. Second leg will be live on RTE.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) February 12, 2019
In response to that, the Northern Ireland League have said they were not expecting this announcement.
"The NI Football League note today’s announcement at the SSE Airtricity League Launch regarding the potential formation of a new competition between the winners of the of the Danske Bank Premiership and SSE Airtricity League."
"We were aware that initial discussions had taken place between the Irish FA and FAI but did not expect any formal announcements at this stage.
"We look forward to consultation and receiving further detail regarding this opportunity, which we will consider with our member clubs."