Giovanni Trapattoni has left his position "by mutual consent," after last night's 1-0 defeat to Austria left the Republic of Ireland's hopes of World Cup qualification in tatters. They are now sitting fourth in Group C, six points behind Sweden in the playoff place with two games to go, making qualifying all but impossible.
Trapattoni had been with the Irish national team since 2008, narrowly missing out on qualification for the World Cup in Germany in 2010, before making last year's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. On the whole, the 74-year-old's tenure has been a fruitful one, though the imminent failure to qualify for Brazil 2014 has seen it cut short. In a statement on the FAI website, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said:
"We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Fausto Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in ten years and were close to qualification for 2010 World Cup in South Africa after the play-off in France.
"This particular World Cup campaign has been disappointing but Giovanni leaves us with a group of good young players which should form the basis of the squad that the new manager will use for the European Championships in France 2016 when 24 teams qualify."
Prior to the job with Ireland, Trapattoni had successfully managed a string of big club and international sides, winning league titles in Portugal, Italy, Austria and Germany alongside taking charge of the Italian national team.