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FAW chief to face no further action over Wales boss comment

Chief executive Jonathan Ford has apologised for his comments

FAW chief to face no further action over Wales boss comment

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford will face no disciplinary action over his comment that the next manager of Wales would “definitely not” be English.

The FAW council voted on Tuesday that a comment Ford made to BBC Sport Wales about Chris Coleman’s successor should be explored further, with a three-man disciplinary commission set up.

But the FAW, in a statement posted on its official website on Thursday, said Ford has clarified his comments, where he repeated details of a previous conversation, and apologised for them.

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

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

Ford’s comment was made during an interview at the BBC Sport Wales awards at the Celtic Manor in Newport on December 5.

“Well I think we’ve always favoured Welsh people because, of course, you know, arguably, the passion is there,” Ford said when asked about finding a successor to Coleman, who left to take over Sky Bet Championship side Sunderland last month.

“You know having somebody else come in….. Someone said this earlier, I thought it was a very good expression – Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly, but definitely not English.”

Some members of the 34-strong FAW council felt Ford’s remark could be viewed as potential racism by outsiders.

The FAW is a strong supporter of anti-racism campaigner Kick It Out and it was decided to set up a disciplinary commission to examine Ford’s comment.

But following meetings between Ford, FAW president David Griffiths and vice-president Kieran O’Connor the matter has now been resolved.

Ford, who has been FAW chief executive for the last eight years, will now head up a seven-man panel to find the next Wales manager.

Osian Roberts is on the shortlist for the Wales manager's job (Joe Giddens/PA)
Osian Roberts is on the shortlist for the Wales manager’s job (Joe Giddens/PA)

The FAW stressed in a statement that the search for a new manager will be conducted in an “open and objective fashion” and “the appointee will be the best person for the role”.

Interviews are planned for the first two weeks of January, with Ryan Giggs, Tony Pulis and Coleman’s former assistant Osian Roberts – all Welshmen – expected to feature on the shortlist.

The FAW hopes to appoint a new manager before the first UEFA League of Nations draw takes place in Switzerland in January 24, a process which would have inevitably been delayed had Ford faced disciplinary action.

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