Former Manchester United great Ryan Giggs has stepped down as Wales manager with immediate effect.
Giggs has been on leave from his post since November 2020 and faces a domestic violence trial in Manchester on August 8. This comes after Wales qualified for the Qatar 2022 World Cup in his absence as he awaits trial for domestic violence-related charges. The 48-year-old is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against his former girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.
Giggs has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Wales interim boss Rob Page has guided Wales to their first World Cup appearance since 1958 – and Giggs has now made the decision to cede responsibility ahead of the global tournament.
“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,” Ryan Giggs said in a statement on Monday.
“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. 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.”
“As has been well publicised, I have pleaded not guilty to the criminal accusations being heard at Manchester Crown Court,” Giggs said as per goal.com.
“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. 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,” he added.
Wales entered the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after Andriy Yarmolenko’s own goal from a Gareth Bale free-kick ended Ukraine’s hopes. Wales have reached the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1958 after Ukraine’s Yarmolenko headed into his own net in the play-off final.
(Inputs from ANI)