Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs has stepped down from his role as Wales manager with immediate effect. Giggs has been away from his role with Wales since November 2020 and since then, interim manager Robert Page has guided Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years.
Giggs, 48, is currently facing a legal battle after being accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020. He is also accused of assaulting Kate causing her actual bodily harm and of common assault on her younger sister Emma at his home in Manchester in November 2020.
The now former Wales manager has denied all of the allegations and has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. In a statement, Giggs said: "After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect."
Page, who is popular with the squad and the fans, will be in charge for the World Cup in Qatar later this year. It is understood that Giggs did not want the ongoing situation to be a distraction for the squad ahead of the tournament.
Welshman Giggs was appointed as manager in January 2018, but has decided his time is up after Wales beat Ukraine in the World Cup play-off final two weeks ago. He was due to face the trial in January, but it was pushed back due to the court backlog due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Football Association of Wales said: "The Football Association of Wales acknowledges the personal statement released by Ryan Giggs on June 20, 2022. The FAW 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."
As a player Ryan won 64 caps for his country and took over as boss after popular manager Chris Coleman left his role. When he was appointed, he had to win over many Welsh supporters who questioned his commitment to his country. However he led the country to Euro 2020, making it two Euros in a row for the country.
However, due to coronavirus, Euro 2020 was delayed by 12 months, meaning Page led the country at the tournament last summer as Giggs' legal challenges surfaced. After that, Wales finished second only behind Belgium in their World Cup qualifying group.
They then went on to beat Austria and Ukraine to book their place in Qatar in November. Page then revealed that his contract runs for however long Wales remain in the World Cup.
Welsh hero Gareth Bale has backed Page, saying: "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."