Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney has resigned from his voluntary post as vice president of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Mr Delaney informed acting OCI president Willie O’Brien of his decision to stand down at 6pm last night, it is understood.
The 49-year-old has been involved with the OCI since 2005 and up until as late as August, had been tipped to eventually take over as president of the organisation.
OCI president Pat Hickey, who was arrested in Brazil in relation to alleged mis-selling of tickets for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, had personally backed Delaney to succeed him as OCI president. Mr Hickey remains in Rio, where he is fighting to clear his name.
In his statement last night, Mr Delaney said having given the matter careful consideration, he has made the decision to step down as the FAI’s volunteer member of the OCI committee board, with immediate effect.
“My role as CEO of the FAI is my primary role and priority. I have always been 100% committed to fulfilling my role, my obligations and duties in ensuring the growth and development of football in Ireland, which I will continue to do,” he said.
He added as a member of the OCI executive committee he always looked to the best interests of the Olympic movement. “As part of this, I have fully engaged and co-operated with investigations being carried out by Grant Thornton who were appointed to review ticketing arrangements and Deloitte, whose brief is to examine governance issues within the OCI. I will, of course, also provide all assistance sought by Mr Justice Carroll Moran as part of the Government- appointed enquiry,” he said.
“I am fully confident that in due course my position and non-involvement in these matters will be clarified and independently verified on completion of reports carried out by Grant Thornton or Justice Carroll Moran,” Mr Delaney added.
Willie O’Brien, acting president of the OCI, in a statement last night said: “This evening I accepted with regret the resignation of Mr John Delaney from his position as vice president of the Olympic Council of Ireland. I would like to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the Irish Olympic movement in his time as a member of the executive committee and I wish him well for the future.”
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