The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has today announced that chief executive (CEO) Jonathan Hill will leave his role at the end of the month.

The organization’s chief operating officer David Courell has been appointed interim CEO while the FAI begins “a structured search for a full-time successor.”

Hill has been in charge of the national soccer body since November 2020.

In a statement released today, FAI president Paul Cooke said: “Jonathan has worked incredibly hard in creating the solid foundations for growth and I am sure the board, executives, and staff can now build on those foundations to create real change for the largest participation sport in the country.”

Hill has come under increasing pressure in recent months and was heavily criticized by members of the Irish government's Public Accounts Committee in February after an audit of the association’s finances commissioned by Sport Ireland found that he had accepted a payment of almost €12,000 ($12,750) in lieu of untaken holidays, which goes against policy for FAI staff.

Hill repaid the money and another €8,000 benefit-in-kind that he received for commuting expenses after the audit discovered his salary had breached the €270,000 maximum previously agreed.

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Under the terms of the 2020 government bailout, FAI executives cannot be paid more than a secretary general in a government department.

Hill was the first permanent CEO appointed to the FAI following the myriad of governance issues that emerged during the John Delaney era.

He took over during the Covid-19 crisis and oversaw Ireland’s successful bid to co-host the 2028 UEFA European championships along with England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The country will also stage this year’s UEFA Europa League final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Hill was formerly group commercial director of the English FA and also held roles at sports agencies ESP, Kentaro, and IMG. Before joining the FAI, he was chief executive of Laureus World Sports Awards Limited, the company responsible for the annual awards.

On his departure, he said: "Since 2020, the FAI team and the wider football community have embraced what has been a radical transformation process for the association and I'm proud of what has been achieved.

“We have developed a new, dynamic senior leadership team, a clear strategic vision, a bold plan to address football's wider infrastructure needs, and a stable and growing financial platform for further and sustainable growth.”

Courell has served as chief operating officer of the FAI since February 2022.

On his appointment, Tony Keohane, independent chair of the board of the FAI, said: “With extensive experience in international sports administration and having spent the last two years as chief operating officer, David has a deep understanding of the workings of the Association and is well positioned to lead the FAI while we undertake a process to appoint a permanent CEO.”