DUBLIN: John Delaney, ceo of the FAI, has sought to distance himself from Patrick Hickey and the crisis-hit Olympic Council of Ireland by resigning as a vice-president.

Delaney has thus become the first board departure since Hickey, the ICI’s president, stepped aside from the multiplicity of Olympic roles since his arrest in Brazil in July on ticket-touting changes which he denies.

Until then Delaney, who has denied any knowledge of the evident complexities surrounding the OCI’s ticketng deas, had been considered eventual favourite to suceed Hickey.

In a statement last night he said: “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.

“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 down as the FAI’s member of the 13-person OCI committee board with immediate effect.”

Delaney indicated that he had felt unable to fulfil essential duties for the OCI given his main professional focus “in ensuring the growth and development of football in Ireland.”

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