Ryan Giggs to stand down as Wales manager

The former Manchester United star has been on leave from his post since August 2020
Ryan Giggs to stand down as Wales manager

By Phil Blanche, PA

Ryan Giggs is to stand down as Wales manager, the PA news agency understands.

Giggs has been on leave from his post since November 2020 and faces a domestic violence trial in Manchester on August 8th.

The 48-year-old former Manchester United star is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against his former girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.

Ryan Giggs court case
Ryan Giggs faces a domestic violence trial in Manchester on August 8 (Peter Byrne/PA)

Giggs is also accused of assaulting Ms Greville, causing her actual bodily harm, and of the common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1st, 2020.

Giggs has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Robert Page has led Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years in Giggs’ absence. Page will be in charge in Qatar with Giggs set to stand down in the coming days.

It is understood that Giggs did not want his situation to act as a distraction as Wales prepare for their first appearance in a World Cup finals since 1958.

Giggs, who was appointed Wales manager in January 2018, decided to stand down after the play-off final victory over Ukraine in Cardiff two weeks ago.

Wales v Belgium – FIFA World Cup 2022 – European Qualifying – Group E – Cardiff City Stadium
Robert Page has guided Wales to their first World Cup for 64 years in Ryan Giggs’ absence (David Davies/PA)

Giggs had been due to face trial in January but it was put back seven months due to the backlog of court cases following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Football Association of Wales has declined to comment, but the PA news agency has been told that Giggs “agonised” over the decision.

The trial is set to last around two weeks on August 8th.

Giggs, who won 64 Wales caps as a player, succeeded the popular Chris Coleman as manager.

Wales Manager Announcement – Hensol Castle
Ryan Giggs (left) poses with former Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford after being appointed Wales manager in January 2018 (Ben Birchall/PA)

He had to win over many supporters who had questioned his commitment to the Wales cause during a stellar career at Old Trafford.

But Giggs managed that as Wales – fired by the brilliance of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey – qualified for Euro 2020, their second successive European Championship finals.

However, Euro 2020 was delayed by 12 months because of coronavirus and Page, who Giggs had appointed as his assistant in August 2019, ended up taking Wales to the finals last summer.

Page built on that work by steering Wales to second place behind Belgium in their 2020 World Cup qualification group.

Wales v Ukraine – FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier – Play Off – Final – Cardiff City Stadium
Wales captain Gareth Bale celebrates the World Cup play-off final victory over Ukraine earlier this month (David Davies/PA)

Victories over Austria and Ukraine then secured Wales’ place at a World Cup for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals in Sweden in 1958.

Page revealed recently that his contract runs for as long as Wales are in the World Cup, and Bale endorsed the former Northampton and Port Vale boss before this month’s Nations League game against Belgium.

Bale said: “I think he is the long-term manager. I don’t think there is any question in the changing room or from the fans.

“He’s done an incredible job coming in, in difficult circumstances. Everyone with him has a great relationship.

“I guess that’s why you achieve big things when your team is happy and your manager is doing well.”

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