Dairy Council ends 30 year association

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The Dairy Council for Northern Ireland has confirmed that it will not renew its title sponsorship of the Northern Ireland Youth Soccer Tournament.

The decision follows a strategic review of the Dairy Council’s activities in Northern Ireland.

Chief Executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, Dr Mike Johnston, said on Monday: “This was not an easy decision for us, but no sponsorship is permanent. The Milk Cup has been a hugely important and successful sponsorship for the Dairy Council since we became involved 30 years ago, but the market has evolved, and we need to ensure that our activities meet the needs of the Northern Ireland dairy industry.

He added: “We are delighted that over the past three decades we have played our part in making the Milk Cup one of the top events of its kind in the world.”

In wishing the Northern Ireland Youth Soccer Tournament every success in the future, Dr Johnston, added: “One of the things that attracted us to the event in the early 1980s was the opportunity it provided for local lads to have the experience of playing against teams from other countries and cultures.

“At a time when Northern Ireland was in the grip of a dark period in its history, and amidst negative publicity in international media, it will always be a testament to the Tournament that teams from all over the world were prepared to come to Northern Ireland.

“And over the years, not only have local players benefited from The Milk Cup experience, but also many friendships have been established and have endured. In other words, the legacy of The Milk Cup will live on.”