LONDON – Gareth Southgate will remain in charge of England’s national team.
An English Football Association (FA) panel has decided to hire Southgate as Sam Allardyce’s permanent successor, people with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the decision before the FA board ratifies the appointment on Wednesday at the national team’s St. George’s Park base in central England.
Southgate was hastily promoted from the under-21 team in September when Allardyce was forced out after one game over unguarded comments to undercover reporters posing as businessmen. The FA believed that damaged the coach’s integrity.
Southgate was unbeaten in his four games as interim coach, winning two World Cup qualifiers (Scotland and Malta), drawing another (Slovenia) and also drawing a friendly with Spain. England leads its 2018 World Cup qualifying group by two points.
Southgate is expected to sign a contract, with a 2018 break clause, through to the 2020 European Championship, which will have the semifinals and final staged at Wembley Stadium.
The 46-year-old Southgate was a defender in the England side that reached the Euro ’96 semifinals at Wembley and missed the decisive penalty in the shootout against Germany. The country has only won one title in its history — the 1966 World Cup on home soil.
Southgate will take over a team still picking up the pieces from a dismal Euro 2016 campaign which saw England humbled by tournament newcomer Iceland in the round of 16. The loss ended Roy Hodgson’s tenure as coach.
Although Southgate has spent three years within the FA, he is one of the least experienced first-team managers to be entrusted with one of the most high-profile jobs in world soccer. His only top managerial role with Middlesbrough ended in 2009 after three years.