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Sports News

Soccer: Neville hoping to lead Britain at rescheduled Olympics

Soccer Football - England - Phil Neville Press Conference - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - February 18, 2020 Phil Neville during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - England Women’s head coach Phil Neville says he hopes to lead the British team at the Tokyo Olympics next year and expects the Football Association (FA) to decide shortly as to whether he will be handed the reins.

Neville, who guided England to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals last year, will leave his role with the team at the end of his contract in July 2021. Netherlands Women’s manager Sarina Wiegman will succeed him from September next year.

Neville, 43, was set to take charge of Britain in the Olympics before its postponement to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and no announcement has been made as yet on who will lead the team in Tokyo.

“The Olympics is still a massive ambition of mine,” Neville told British media. “The FA know that and they have been brilliant in their communication with me in terms of the time frames of when they’re going to make the decision.

“Whether you’re England manager or a manager from one of the four nations, that’s going to be one of the toughest things to do, pick 18 players. It’s one that I was excited to do and it’s obviously a clean slate. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do it.”

“I think (the decision) will be made pretty quickly. I think everybody is on the same page. The players will want to know which manager they will want to impress for their Olympic selection.”

England, who last played at the SheBelieves Cup in March, will face twice world champions Germany in a friendly on Oct. 27 as they return to action for the first time in over seven months.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry

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