Dec 6 (Reuters) - Wales have ruled out appointing an Englishman to replace Chris Coleman as manager after the Welshman stepped down last month, Welsh soccer’s governing body (FAW) has said.
Coleman sought a new challenge at struggling English Championship side Sunderland after failing to lead his countrymen to next year’s World Cup in Russia.
“We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there,” FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford was quoted as saying by local media.
“Somebody said this earlier, Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly, but definitely not English.”
The last six Wales managers, including caretakers, have been Welsh, with Englishman Bobby Gould between 1995-99 being the last non-Welshman to manage the national team.
Ford said the FAW hopes to appoint Coleman’s successor before the draw for the new UEFA Nations League on Jan. 24.
“We have a little bit of time and we will be going through that process, a diligent process, to select our new manager, maybe towards the end of this year or the start of next year,” Ford added.
“We have the draw for the European Nations League at the end of January so it would be lovely to take a new manager across to that draw, so that gives you the first sort of deadline we are working to.”
Coleman’s assistant Osian Roberts and former Wales strikers Craig Bellamy and John Hartson have expressed interest in the job. British media have linked Welshman Tony Pulis to the hot seat after he was sacked by West Bromwich Albion last month.
“Understandably a lot of people have expressed interest. These kinds of jobs advertise themselves,” Ford said.
“But I also have to go and see the relevant people. It’s a two-way street - people will assess us as much as we assess them and I would expect any prospective candidate to understand the system we have in place.”
Wales next play in the China Cup at the end of March in a four-team tournament with the hosts, Czech Republic and Uruguay. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)