Ryan Giggs resigns: why has the ex-Manchester United winger stepped down from his role as Wales manager?

Ryan Giggs played over 950 times for Manchester United
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Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has resigned from his role as manager of the Wales men’s national football team.

Giggs has been involved in a court case relating to criminal accusations for several months. During this time he has been placed on leave and not in charge of the national side.

However, the former Wales international has decided to resign from his post due to the delayed timing of the case being heard at court.

What has Ryan Giggs been accused of?

The 48-year-old faces accusations of domestic violence from a former partner.

Giggs is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against former girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020, as well as a further accusation of assault causing actual bodily harm.

He also faces charges of the common assault of Ms Greville’s younger sister, Emma Greville, at his home in Worsley on November 1, 2020.

What has Ryan Giggs said?

Ryan Giggs announced that he would step down as manager of the Wales men’s national side in a lengthy statement yesterday (20 June).

Below is some of the statement, in which Giggs pays tribute to Wales fans and reminds people that he pleaded not guilty to the criminal accusations brought against him at Manchester Crown Court.

Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.

“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.

“As has been well publicised, I have pleaded not guilty to the criminal accusations being heard at Manchester Crown Court.

“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.

“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.

“It has been a pleasure to work with such well-established, senior professionals, and it has given me immense pride to watch so many young players progress into the national squad and flourish in the red colours of our country.

“I am touched and grateful to our passionate supporters for following us all over the world.

“To see nearly 3,000 of our loyal, travelling fans in Baku for the European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan made me appreciate the sacrifices people make to watch our nation play.”

Giggs added that he intends to return to management at a later date.

When did Ryan Giggs become Wales manager?

Ryan Giggs took the job as manager of the Wales men’s national football team in January 2018, succeeding Chris Coleman who went back into club management at Championship side Sunderland.

Rob Page took over when Ryan Giggs stepped aside in November 2020 following the accusations made against him, and Page has led the Wales men’s side to their first World Cup in 64 years.

Has the Wales Football Association commented?

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) issued a statement acknowledging the statement published by Ryan Giggs.

A spokesperson said: “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.”