Giovanni Trapattoni has been sacked by the Football Association of Ireland after failing to reach next year’s World Cup.
to snatch second place in Group C, and, after meeting with the Football Association of Ireland this morning, Trapattoni and assistant Marco Tardelli have left.
The 74-year-old Italian said: "I want to thank everyone in Ireland who has given us their support during our time here which has always meant a lot to us.
"We leave this country with emotion because we understand the Irish supporters who have a well-deserved international reputation and they have our utmost respect."
He continued: "I would like to thank [FAI chief executive] John Delaney, [president] Paddy McCaul, [honorary secretary] Michael Cody and the FAI Board for their support and friendship over the last five and a half years.
"I would also want to thank all FAI staff members, including the backroom team and the players, who have been great to work with during the last three campaigns.
"I wish them well in the future and hope that the job we have done leaves everything in a good place for my successor to take over."
The FAI wasted little time in making its move, cancelling Trapattoni’s scheduled press conference in Dublin this afternoon and confirming its Board was considering the situation a little more than an hour after the final whistle sounded at the Ernst Happel Stadion.
Delaney said: "We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Franco Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in 10 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."
The FAI Board will meet in due course to consider a replacement with former Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill currently the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Trapattoni.