Sport in Northern Ireland plays an important role in the lives of many Northern Irish people. Most sports are organised on an all-Ireland basis, for example rugby union, Gaelic games, basketball, rugby league, hockey, and cricket, whereas others, like association football and netball are organised on a separate basis for Northern Ireland.
Football is one of the most popular sports in Northern Ireland. The Irish Football Association (IFA) is the organising body for football (soccer) in Northern Ireland, and was historically the governing body for the whole of the island. The IFA sits on the International Football Association Board, which is responsible for the laws of the game.
The Milk Cup is a successful international youth tournament held annually in Northern Ireland, in which clubs and national teams from anywhere in the world may compete. Northern Ireland also played host to the 2005 UEFA Under-19 European Championships.
The Setanta Sports Cup was set up by its sponsors, television channel Setanta Ireland. It is an all-island tournament, featuring twelve teams, six from the League of Ireland and six from the Irish League. Despite fairly low turn-outs for each jurisdiction’s leagues, the Setanta Cup drew relatively successful gate receipts and in five editions has had one winner from Northern Ireland (Linfield in 2005).