The FAI have appointed Paul Cooke as the executive lead of the association, a day after John Foley opted out of taking the reins as interim CEO at the last minute.

Foley had been lined up to take over from Noel Mooney, who has returned to his position with UEFA after completing a six-month secondment with the FAI. 

Foley told RTÉ Sport that he had been willing to come into the Association on an interim basis while a permanent CEO was recruited but felt that support for his appointment across key stakeholders was not at the level required for him to succeed.

Cooke was elected vice president of the FAI at the AGM last July. He now effectively steps into the role of interim CEO. 

From Waterford, the same county as former CEO John Delaney and Foley, Cooke has enjoyed a successful career in newspaper publishing with both the Irish Daily Star and the Sunday Business Post.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport issued a statement saying "The ministers note media reports regarding the appointment of Paul Cooke as executive lead at the FAI.

"Ministers (Shane) Ross and (Brendan) Griffin believe the most urgent priorities for the FAI should be the appointment of the four independent directors, the independent Chairperson, and the filling of the CEO vacancy, whether on an interim or full time basis. 

"Various stakeholders will continue to be concerned until such time as the Board and the Executive are led by completely independent people without any prior or present involvement with the FAI.

"We look forward to an early appointment of an independent CEO following a thorough process. Government funding cannot be restored until such independent directors and an independent CEO are in place."

Earlier on Monday, minister Shane Ross told RTÉ Sport that he wanted to see "regime change... and that means real regime change.

Ross added: "It means not going back to the FAI for people like Noel Mooney, people who in the past have had identification with the FAI. That's not acceptable anymore. We've got to see a complete clean out."