Why did Phil Neville leave England ladies? Ex-Man Utd defender resigns to join friend David Beckham at Inter Miami

Neville was expected to lead Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics, rearranged due to the Covid pandemic, as Lionesses announce interim replacement
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Phil Neville has resigned from his role as England Women's manager and been appointed head coach of Inter Miami.

The former Manchester United defender was due to leave the Lionesses this summer and take charge of Team GB women's side at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

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But Neville left his role early - throwing the Football Association's plans for the Olympics in the air - as he reunites with former Old Trafford teammate David Beckham, who co-owns Inter Miami.

Why did Neville leave England Women?

The timing of Neville's resignation rather than his departure may have raised a few eyebrows at the FA, as he was due to leave his Lionesses role this summer.

Neville had planned on leading England into the Women's Euros in 2021 but decided to step down after it was postponed until July 2022 due to scheduling issues.

He had previously expressed a desire to lead Team GB women at this summer's Olympic Games, which has been rearranged from 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

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And, although he hasn't officially been appointed, Neville was expected to lead the women's team of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland footballers.

Following consultation with all four countries, the English FA have the responsibility of appointing the Team GB manager for the Olympics and will begin its search immediately.

While Neville takes the reins of MLS side Inter Miami with immediate effect having been sounded out for the role this month.

What were the highlights of Neville's time with England Women?

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Neville took charge of England Women in January 2018 and led the Lionesses to a fourth-placed finish at the 2019 World Cup as well as a trophy in the She Believes Cup in the same year.

"It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses," said Neville.

"The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.

"I'd like to thank The FA for the tremendous backing they have given me, in particular Sue Campbell and my talented support staff whose energy, commitment and enthusiasm has been crucial to helping us make the progress we have.

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"I wish England Women every success in the future and look forward to following their journey in the years to come."

Who will replace Neville at England Women helm?

The FA has moved swiftly to appoint Hege Riise, former assistant manager of the USA women's national team, as interim manager of the Lionesses.

Riise has a highly decorated playing career in which she made 188 appearances for Norway, winning gold at the 2000 Olympics and helping her country lift the 1993 Euros and 1995 World Cup.

"I'm excited about the opportunity I've been given to work with England Women. This is a proud and ambitious team that I look forward to working with and I am confident of making a positive impact when I meet up with the squad in February," said Riise.

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Riise, assisted by ex-Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson and Kay Cossington, will take charge of the team until Sarina Wiegman, the current Netherlands women's team boss, takes over full-time in September after the Games.