Ryan Giggs has quit as Wales manager with immediate effect, saying he doesn’t want his upcoming domestic violence trial to destabilize the national team ahead of his first FIFA World Cup appearance since 1958 (More football news)
Manchester United great has been on leave since November 2020, with his assistant, Robert Page, guiding the Welsh to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar via European qualifiers this month.
Giggs is accused of controlling and coercive behavior against his former girlfriend from August 2017 to November 2020. He is also accused of assaulting her and her sister. The trial is due to begin on August 8.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead my country,” Giggs said on Monday, “but it is only right that the Wales FA, coaching staff and players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.
Giggs pleaded not guilty to the charges. A backlog of cases at Manchester Crown Court delayed the start of the trial. “While I have confidence in our legal process, I had hoped the case would be heard sooner to allow me to resume my leadership responsibilities,” he said.
“Through no one’s fault, the case was delayed. I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilized or compromised in any way by the continued interest surrounding this matter.”
Giggs played a record 963 times for Manchester United before retiring in 2014. He also made 64 appearances for Wales and was hired as their national team coach in January 2018. Giggs labeled the Wales for the final European Championship, which has been delayed for 12 months. to 2021 because of the pandemic. Page led the Welsh in this tournament.
“I was blessed with some unforgettable moments during my three years in charge of the national team,” Giggs said. “I am proud of my record and will cherish these special moments forever.”
“I’m sad,” he added, “that we can’t continue this journey together as I believe this amazing group will do the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.” Giggs said he intended to resume his managerial career “at a later date”.
“And I can’t wait to see our national team alongside you in the stands.” The Football Association of Wales thanked Giggs, saying it “appreciates the decision he has made which is in the best interest of Welsh football”.