Ryan Giggs' Wales future in doubt after being stood down from internationals

  • Manager to miss March triple-header on back of arrest last year
  • Absence casts further doubt over Giggs leading country at Euros

Ryan Giggs will not take charge of Wales this month, casting further doubt over his long-term future and whether he will lead his country at the European Championship this summer. The Football Association of Wales held urgent discussions after Giggs’s bail following his arrest last year was extended until 1 May, six weeks before the start of the tournament, and the matter has been complicated by a vote of no confidence in the outgoing FAW chief executive, Jonathan Ford.

Giggs was arrested on suspicion of assault and actual bodily harm in November, leading him to stand aside for three matches. The Crown Prosecution Service is deciding whether there is a case to answer. Giggs denies the allegations. Robert Page, who led the team in Giggs’s absence last year, has again been placed in caretaker charge for another triple header, including World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Czech Republic. The Wales squad is set to be announced next week and will join up in Cardiff across the weekend of 20 March.

“The Football Association of Wales and Ryan Giggs have mutually agreed that he will not be involved in the upcoming international camp. Robert Page will take charge for the next three matches against Belgium, Mexico and the Czech Republic and will be supported by Albert Stuivenberg as was the case during the last international window in November,” read an FAW statement issued on Wednesday morning. “The FAW will not be making any further comment at this current time.”

In a statement last month, Greater Manchester Police said: “A 46-year-old man [now aged 47] arrested on suspicion of section 39 common assault and section 47 assault in November 2020 has had his bail extended until Saturday 1 May 2021. This relates to an incident reported to police at 10.05pm on Sunday 1 November on Chatsworth Road, Worsley. A file remains with the CPS and a decision is expected in due course.”

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The FAW was thrown into turmoil when the allegations against Giggs surfaced but has since had to contend with the uncertainty surrounding Ford, who it was announced on Tuesday will depart at the end of the month after 11 years in the post. Meanwhile, the FAW is searching for a new women’s manager after Jayne Ludlow stepped down after six years last month.

The FAW is not expected to make a decision on Giggs’s long-term future until after the March camp. Giggs’s four-year contract expires after the 2022 World Cup. Wales’ European Championship campaign is scheduled to begin on 12 June in Group A against Switzerland in Baku.

Contributor

Ben Fisher

The GuardianTramp

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