Ryan Giggs to remain on leave at start of Wales’ World Cup campaign

Phil Blanche, PA
·2-min read

Ryan Giggs will remain on leave for the start of Wales’ World Cup campaign with Robert Page taking caretaker charge again.

Giggs was arrested on suspicion of assault at the start of November and last month had his bail extended until May 1.

The 47-year-old former Manchester United winger and assistant manager had a reported row with girlfriend Kate Greville and missed Wales’ Nations League fixtures in November as Page replaced him.

Rob Page File Photo
Robert Page will again be in charge of Wales for the start of their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign (Nick Potts/PA)

“The Football Association of Wales and Ryan Giggs have mutually agreed that he will not be involved in the upcoming international camp,” said an FAW statement.

“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.”

Page oversaw victories against the Republic of Ireland and Finland in November as Wales were promoted into the top tier of European football.

The former Wales captain, 46, who joined Giggs’ backroom staff in August 2019, will now take charge of the Dragons’ opening two World Cup qualifiers this month.

Wales start their Group E campaign away to Belgium, the FIFA ranked number one side in the world, on March 24 before hosting the Czech Republic in Cardiff six days later.

Mexico are also due to play a Cardiff City Stadium friendly on March 27, and Page will announce his squad for the three games on Monday.

Wales’ preparations for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament this summer have also been disrupted by the departure of chief executive Jonathan Ford after a vote of no confidence was passed by the FAW council.

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Ford’s departure was announced on Tuesday and he will leave his position on March 31.

The marketing and sponsorship expert had been at the FAW since December 2009 and was widely credited with lifting the association’s profile and increasing turnover.

But rising tensions behind the scenes over a number of issues resulted in the council passing a vote of no confidence by 26 votes to five on February 22.