Ryan Giggs confirmed on Monday that he has resigned as coach of the Wales national team.
The former Manchester United winger is awaiting trial after being charged with controlling and coercive behaviour and assault against his ex-girlfriend and her sister.
Giggs has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains on bail. The trial at Manchester Crown Court had been due to start on Jan. 24, but has been delayed until Aug. 8 — a factor that led to the 48-year-old deciding to step down now.
“After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect,” Giggs said 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 [World Cup] tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.
“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.”
Giggs played a record 963 times for Man United before retiring in 2014. He also made 64 appearances for Wales and was hired as coach of his national team in January 2018. He also led Wales to qualify for the most recent European Championship, which was delayed by 12 months to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giggs temporarily stepped down as Wales coach in November 2020, with Robert Page coaching the team at last summer’s Euros and guiding them to their first World Cup finals since 1958 earlier this month after a playoff victory over Ukraine.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) accepted Giggs’ resignation.
“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,” a statement read on Monday.
“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru Men’s National Team is on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.