Trial date changes prompt Giggs to give up chance of managing Wales at Qatar 2022

June 21 – Ryan Giggs has formally quit as coach of the Welsh national team even though he has been on the sidelines for several months.

Giggs has been on leave from his post since November 2020, with his assistant, Robert Page, guiding the Welsh to their first World Cup finals in 64 years.

Giggs said he did not want his upcoming trial on charges of domestic violence to destabilise the national team. The former Manchester United great is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour 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 start on August 8. Giggs has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country,” Giggs said, “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.”

The trial had been due to start on January 24, but has been delayed until August 8 – a factor that led to Giggs deciding to step down now.

“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.”

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said it “places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru Men’s National Team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football.”

“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru Men’s National Team is on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.”

Giggs qualified Wales for the Euro 2020, which was delayed by 12 months to 2021 because of the pandemic. Page ended up leading the Welsh in that tournament.

“I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some unforgettable moments during my three years in charge of the national team,” Giggs added. “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.”

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