Ryan Giggs plead not guilty to attacking Emma Greville, his ex-girlfriend’s younger sister, and causing actual bodily harm to both of them, among other charges.
Wales Manager Ryan Giggs confirmed he will step down as the team’s head coach, just five months ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
The national team qualified for the global football tournament while he was away awaiting his domestic violence trial. The former Manchester United midfielder has been on leave since November 2020.
Giggs has plead not guilty to charges of assault with bodily harm, as well as claims of controlling coercive behaviour against his ex-girlfriend, with his trial scheduled in the UK in August.
On Tuesday, the Welsh manager announced his decision to hand over leadership to interim manager Rob Page, who led Wales to its first World Cup appearance since 1958.
“After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect,” said Giggs in a statement.
“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.”
Following Giggs’ announcement, the Football Association of Wales issued its own statement.
“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,” it read.
“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.”
In regards to his coercive and controlling behaviour toward his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020, Giggs has made a not guilty plea.
He also plead not guilty to attacking Emma Greville, Greville’s younger sister, and causing actual bodily harm to both of them on 1 November 2020, at his house in Manchester.
The trial was originally slated to begin in January but was delayed until August 8 due to a lack of available court space.
Page, the 47-year-old former captain of Wales, has been Giggs’ assistant since August 2019. He took command of matches back in November 2020 and led Wales to victory in their Nations League group.
In March 2021, as Wales began its 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, he continued to fill in for Giggs, who had been appointed by Wales in January 2018.
Wales has qualified for the World Cup in Qatar for the first time in 64 years thanks to a memorable play-off final victory over Ukraine in June 2022.
In Group B, Wales will compete against Iran, England, and the United States. On 21 November, the team will face off with the United States.