Ryan Giggs stands down as Wales boss with Page to lead at World Cup and says he doesn’t want side ‘destabilised’
RYAN GIGGS has stood down as Wales manager with Robert Page set to take over full-time for the World Cup in Qatar.
The 48-year-old will announce his decision in a lengthy statement after talks with the Football Association of Wales.
He said: “I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.”
Giggs, who has been on leave from his post as Dragons boss in November 2020 following his arrest, faces a domestic violence trial in August after he was charged of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
The former Manchester United star is also accused of using coercive behaviour towards Kate Greville as well as assaulting her sister.
Giggs denies all the allegations and is determined to clear his name.
His trial was due to take place in January but the case was adjourned following a backlog of cases and will now start on August 8 at Manchester Crown Court.
In a lengthy statement, in full below, Giggs said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.”
Wales qualified for a first World Cup in 64 years and Giggs’ contract runs until the end of the Dragons’ campaign in Qatar which starts in November.
The FAW declined to comment but it is believed Giggs ‘agonised’ over the decision. SunSport understands his legal team have already held discussions with the FAW over an agreement.
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Interim boss Robert Page has been in charge since Giggs’ arrest and made history by leading Wales to a first global finals appearance since 1958 following the 1-0 triumph over Ukraine on June 5.
Like Giggs, Page’s current contract has also been extended until the end of Wales’ tournament in the Middle East where they face USA, Iran and arch rivals England in Group B.
Wales captain Gareth Bale supported Page publicly as the nation’s long-term manager beyond the World Cup before the 1-1 Nations League draw with Belgium on June 11.
Bale said of Page: “I think he is the long-term manager. I don’t think there is any question in the changing room or from the fans.
RYAN GIGGS STATEMENT IN FULL
After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.
It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.
As has been well publicised, I have pleaded not guilty to the criminal accusations being heard at Manchester Crown Court.
Whilst I am confident in our judicial process, I had hoped that the case would have been heard earlier to enable me to resume my managerial responsibilities.
Through nobody’s fault the case has been delayed.
I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.
I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some unforgettable moments during my three years in charge of the national team.
I am proud of my record and will cherish those special times forever.
It has been a pleasure to work with such well-established, senior professionals, and it has given me immense pride to watch so many young players progress into the national squad and flourish in the proud red colours of our country.
I am touched and grateful to our passionate supporters for following us all over the world.
To see nearly 3,000 of our loyal, travelling fans in Baku for the European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan made me appreciate the sacrifices people make to watch our nation play.
I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.
I would like to thank the chief executive Noel Mooney, his predecessor Jonathan Ford, the board of the FAW, plus the many people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to help our national team and for the support they have given me during this difficult time in my personal life.
It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date and I look forward to watching our national team alongside you in the stands.
Finally, I would like to wish the players, the staff and the supporters at the FAW every success at the World Cup and in the future.
Thank you and best wishes. Ryan
“He’s done an incredible job coming in in difficult circumstances.
“Everyone with him has a great relationship. We have that good mixture where we can have a bit of fun but when we need to work, we work hard.
“We do it correctly. There’s a great balance. He’s been great for us.
“Even his backroom staff with Alan Knill, Kit Symons and all the other staff have been incredible.
“I guess that’s why you achieve big things when your team is happy and your manager is doing well.”
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