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Wales manager Giggs quits ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup as court case looms

5:33 PM EDT 6/20/22
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The boss had been away from the team amid domestic violence charges

Ryan Giggs has announced he will stand down as coach of the Wales national team, following their qualification for the Qatar 2022 World Cup in his absence as he awaits trial for domestic violence related charges.

The former Manchester United midfielder took over the Dragons in 2018, but has been on leave since November 2020, with a trial dated for August this year. He has pleaded not guilty to claims of controlling and coercive behaviour against his ex-girlfriend, as well as assault and causing actual bodily harm.

Interim boss Rob Page has guided Wales to their first World Cup appearance since 1958 - and Giggs has now made the decision to cede responsibility ahead of the global tournament.

What has Giggs said on his decision to step away?

"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," the 48-year-old said in a statement on Monday.

"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. 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."

Will Giggs return to management after his court case?

Giggs believes he will be cleared by his trial and hopes to take a head coaching job thereafter - though it remains to be seen how his case might unfold and how teams react to the proceedings.

“As has been well publicised, I have pleaded not guilty to the criminal accusations being heard at Manchester Crown Court," Giggs said. "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. It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date and I look forward to watching our national team alongside you in the stands."

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