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Wales’ new manager will ‘definitely not’ be English

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) will not take action against chief executive Jonathan Ford for saying the next Wales manager could be “foreign”, but “definitely not English”.

The FAW had set up a three-person panel to investigate a BBC Sport Wales interview in which Ford said: “We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there.

“Somebody said this earlier, Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly but definitely not English.”

A statement from the FAW said they will not “take the matter any further” after Ford apologised for the remarks.

The interview, at the Wales Sport Awards, was discussed at an FAW council meeting when Ford was asked to leave the room.

Full statement

An FAW statement said Ford would not face any further action.

The statement said: “Following a matter arising from the Football Association of Wales Council meeting of 12 December 2017 in Cardiff, meetings have taken place between the Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ford, the President, David Griffiths and Vice President, Kieran O’Connor of the Association.

“The CEO has clarified comments made in a media interview, where he repeated details of a previous conversation, in which a third party stated that the search for a national team manager should preclude an English applicant.

“Following the discussions today, it was accepted the documented comments were taken out of context and not in the manner in which they were intended.

“The FAW and CEO will conduct a search for the new manager in an open and objective fashion, the appointee will be the best person for the role.

“The CEO has apologised for the statement and the FAW Officers, having reviewed the situation, do not propose to take the matter any further.

“The Officers of the Association fully support the CEO, acknowledge the significant achievements in taking Welsh Football forward over the last eight years and look forward to continue to work together in the future.”

Ford’s tenure

Ford was appointed to the role in 2009 and has a marketing background. He has been widely credited with lifting the FAW’s profile and increasing turnover.

Coleman led Wales to their first tournament finals when the national team reached the semi finals of Euro 2016.

During Ford’s tenure, Wales has staged its first Uefa competition with the European Women’s Under-19s tournament in 2013 before hosting the prestigious Super Cup in 2014.

In the summer Cardiff staged the 2017 women’s and men’s Champions League Finals.

Ford will still lead the search for Chris Coleman’s successor, with a six-man panel looking to sift through the candidates with a view to appointing a new manager by the end of January, 2018.

Roberts, Giggs, Bellamy, Hartson

Coleman’s assistant Osian Roberts, plus ex-Wales strikers Craig Bellamy and John Hartson and Ryan Giggs have all expressed their interest in taking over.

Former Wales and Manchester United forward Giggs has been long admired by the FAW, while Welshman Tony Pulis – sacked as West Bromwich Albion manager last month – is also among those linked with the post.

Ford believes the Wales job has become an attractive proposition following Coleman’s successful Euro 2016 campaign.

News Reporter

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