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John Delaney has stepped down from his role as OCI vice-president

The Waterford native released a statement this evening outlining the reasons behind the decision.

FAI CEO John Delaney.
FAI CEO John Delaney.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

FAI CHIEF EXECUTIVE John Delaney has resigned from his role with the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

The 49-year-old has worked with the OCI since 2005 but today informed acting president Willie O’Brien of his decision to step down as vice-president of the organisation with immediate effect.

Mr Delaney had previously been recommended by former OCI president Pat Hickey as his successor.

However, Mr Hickey stepped aside from the top job in July after 27 years in charge, and indicated he would not be returning to the role, due to a pending police investigation in Brazil.

The 71-year-old is currently on bail and facing a number of charges, including ticket touting, larceny, money laundering and tax evasion, in relation to the Rio Games.

In a statement released this evening, Mr Delaney explained that his priority is his work with the FAI while he once again stressed that he had no role in the OCI’s handling of ticketing arrangements for the Rio Olympics.

“I indicated some weeks back that I would be considering my position as the Football Association of Ireland’s volunteer member of the OCI’s Executive Committee,” Mr Delaney said in a statement on the FAI’s website.

“Since then, I have been in discussions with the board of the FAI and many colleagues within the football family regarding my position within the OCI.

“Having given the matter careful consideration, I have made the decision to step down as the FAI’s volunteer member of the 13-person OCI committee board, with immediate effect.

Mr Delaney then outlined the reasons behind his decision.

1. 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.

2. As an executive committee member of the OCI, my role was never active in the day to day running of the OCI and as I mentioned previously, I was in a position to attend only five of the last 13 board meetings prior to the Rio Olympics.

3. I had no role or involvement in the OCI’s handling of ticketing arrangements for the Rio Olympic Games.

4. During my time as a member of the OCI Executive Committee I have always looked to the best interests of the Olympic movement, and in recent months I have worked extensively with the other OCI Committee members to ensure that all proper steps have been taken by the OCI, following the issues that arose in Rio.

“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 continued.

Acting OCI president Mr O’Brien also released a statement this evening in which he thanked Mr Delaney for his work with the OCI.

“This evening I accepted with regret the resignation of Mr John Delaney from his position as Vice President of the Olympic Council of Ireland,” Mr O’Brien said.

“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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Alan Waldron

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