LONDON: Phil Neville is stepping down as England women’s team manager with immediate effect, the Football Association (FA) said on Monday, with the former Manchester United and England defender expected to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami.
Neville, 43, has been in talks with the Major League Soccer men’s side, who have a vacancy since sacking manager Diego Alonso this month.
The FA said in a statement it would shortly appoint an interim head coach to lead the Lionesses until Sarina Wiegman, currently manager of the Netherlands women’s team, assumes the role fulltime after the delayed Tokyo Olympics end in August.
Wiegman was appointed last August to lead England at the European championship in 2022 and through qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
Neville, who had been due to lead the Team GB women’s football side at the Tokyo Games, had announced last April that he would be moving on after the Olympics due to the women’s European tournament being postponed from 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FA said a recruitment process had already been underway after the departure of England assistant coach Rehanne Skinner to Tottenham Hotspur’s women’s team last November.
“After steadying the ship at a challenging period, he helped us to win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, reach the World Cup semifinals and qualify for the Olympics,” said director of women’s football Sue Campbell of Neville’s legacy.
“Given his status as a former Manchester United and England player, he did much to raise the profile of our team.
“He has used his platform to champion the women’s game, worked tirelessly to support our effort to promote more female coaches and used his expertise to develop many of our younger players.”
Neville said he had enjoyed “three of the best years of my career”. – Reuters