London (AFP) – Phil Neville will leave his role as England women’s manager when his contract expires next year, the Football Association confirmed on Friday.
The former Manchester United and England defender’s deal would have seen him take charge of the Lionesses’ European championship campaign on home soil next year.
However, the reorganisation of the football calendar due to coronavirus means UEFA has now moved the women’s Euros to 2022.
“Following UEFA’s decision to postpone the UEFA Women’s EURO to 2022, Phil Neville has confirmed he is committed to honouring the full term of his contract with The FA, which will see him leave the role in July 2021,” the FA said in a statement.
Neville is also now unlikely to take charge of the Great Britain team at next year’s Olympics, with the FA keen for his successor to get tournament experience before the Euros.
“In the best interests of the England Women’s team, both parties were in agreement that our shared priority was to ensure the Lionesses have continuity of coaching going into the home EURO and looking towards the 2023 FIFA World Cup,” said the FA’s director of women’s football Sue Campbell.
“We will now discuss next steps with the British Olympic Association and the home nations with regard to Team GB Football and we are not in a position to make any further comment at this time.”
After taking charge in January 2018, Neville quickly made a big impact as England won the high-profile SheBelieves Cup for the first time and pushed world champions the United States all the way before losing a pulsating World Cup semi-final 2-1 last year.
However, England’s form has unravelled since, with a run of seven defeats in 11 games leaving even Neville himself questioning whether he was the right man to take them forward.
“As a result of the changes to the proposed tournament scheduling we will now be working to plan for a revised match calendar once it is safe and appropriate to do so,” said Neville.
“I am looking forward to getting back to work with the team as soon as possible. We have a fantastic squad of players and there is plenty to work on as we look to progress as a team going into 2021.”
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