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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 18 January, 2019

Welsh FA chief faces probe over 'not English' remark

Jonathan Ford said last week that the Football Association of Wales would prefer Chris Coleman’s successor to be Welsh

Jonathan Ford (file pic).
Jonathan Ford (file pic).
Image: Ben Birchall

WELSH FA CHIEF executive Jonathan Ford is to face a disciplinary commission over his comment that the next Wales manager will “definitely” not be English, potentially delaying the appointment of a new national team boss.

Ford said last week that the Football Association of Wales (FAW) would prefer Chris Coleman’s successor to be Welsh and “definitely not English”.

“We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there,” Ford told BBC Wales. “Somebody said this earlier, Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly, but definitely not English.”

But the ruling FAW council met in Cardiff on Tuesday and voted for Ford’s comment to be explored further, with a three-man disciplinary commission set up.

The FAW are strong supporters of the Kick Racism Out Of Football campaign and some members of the 34-strong council feel Ford’s remark could be viewed as potentially racist.

Ford is due to head a seven-man panel to find the next Wales manager and had said he hoped the appointment would be made before the draw for the new Uefa Nations League takes place in Switzerland on January 24.

But with no date yet scheduled by the FAW for Ford’s disciplinary commission, those hopes could now be derailed.

Former Wales players Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and John Hartson and Coleman’s former assistant Osian Roberts have all expressed interest in the job.

Former West Brom boss Tony Pulis, who was born in Wales, has also been linked with the post.

Coleman’s near six-year reign came to an end last month when he left to take over at English Championship side Sunderland.

In that time Coleman guided Wales to the semifinals of Euro 2016 — their best performance at a major tournament — and into the top 10 of the Fifa world rankings.

Wales’ past four managers have all been Welsh — Mark Hughes, John Toshack, Gary Speed and Coleman.

The last non-Welshman to manage Wales was Englishman Bobby Gould, who had an unsuccessful spell in charge between 1995 and 1999.

– © AFP 2017

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