Brian Kerr's tenure as Republic of Ireland manager has ended after the FAI decided not to renew his contract.
Tuesday night's announcement from the Football Association of Ireland comes after the Republic failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals.
It was widely expected that Kerr, who took over from Mick McCarthy in January 2003, would be axed from the post.
Sir Bobby Robson, Sir Alex Ferguson, David O'Leary, Martin O'Neill and Kenny Dalglish have been linked with the job.
Robson, Ferguson and O'Leary have each played down speculation that they will replace Kerr.
The scoreless draw against Switzerland in Dublin last Wednesday ended the Republic's hopes of making the finals in Germany.
FAI chief executive John Delaney explained the reasons behind the decision, which was taken at a 10-man board meeting in Dublin.
"The board is aware of Brian's committment to Irish football in the past at underage level and domestic level," he told RTE.
"But the board decided it was time for a change and we will commence looking for a new manager on Wednesday morning.
"The view was that performances and results were not what we hoped for.
"Our Fifa ranking has dropped and our co-efficient in terms of European qualification has dropped from two to four - they were key issues.
"We took the emotion out of the issue and made a business decision effectively."
Delaney said names of possible successors were not mentioned in the meeting but he believes they will get the right man.
He added: "We have to look forward now - we are looking for a successful manager who can lead us to the next tournament.
"I am confident there will be a number of successful people who will look to take this job.
"It is a high profile job, we have good players and we are confident of getting a decent manager."