The Unite The Union Champions Cup competition, featuring four teams from the Airtricity League Premier Division and the Danske Bank Premiership, has been postponed until next year.

The cross-border competition was first announced in May 2019, with the reigning league champions in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland playing a two-legged final. Dundalk beat Linfield 7-1 on aggregate in the first edition.

A year ago it was expanded to a four-team format after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the 2020 tournament.

Airtricity League winners Shamrock Rovers and Premiership champions Linfield were joined by the next top-placed teams in the 2021 League of Ireland and 2020-21 Northern Ireland Football League seasons: St Pat's and Coleraine.

Regionalised semi-finals and the final had been scheduled to be played in late November/early December.

However in light of the current Covid-19 situation on both sides of the border, Unite The Union has asked the FAI and the IFA to postpone the competition until 2022. Both associations have agreed to the request.

League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon said: "We apologise to the fans of all clubs involved in the Unite The Union Champions Cup from both the League of Ireland and the Irish League but all concerned feel this is the best decision in the current climate. We look forward to restaging these fixtures as early as possible in the New Year."