Football Association of Wales optimistic boss Chris Coleman will see out contract

Ford and Coleman
Jonathan Ford (L) was the chief executive who appointed Chris Coleman (R) to succeed Gary Speed

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford is hopeful national team manager Chris Coleman will honour his two-year contract extension.

Coleman's stock is high after Wales reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

But he has said the 2018 World Cup campaign will be his last as Wales boss and Ford warns it will be difficult to keep Coleman if he decides he wants to manage a club side before then.

"I can't make him do the job," Ford told BBC Radio 5 live.

"At the end of the day we do have a contract that's been signed, but like anything, if somebody desperately says 'Well I'm not going to do the job', you're going to have a tough time keeping him.

"There are procedures and there are policies in place with regards to if that does happen, but let's hope it doesn't.

"Chris absolutely is wedded to the Welsh, he is Welsh through and through and he'd run through brick walls for us and we are delighted with the progress we've made.

"And I think he's delighted with the job he has done and hopefully he will continue through and be at Russia for us in 2018."

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Here are the highlights of the day Wales came home from Euro 2016

Coleman took over under difficult circumstances following the death of previous manager Gary Speed, but at Euro 2016 he led Wales to their best finish at a major tournament in their first finals since 1958.

The 46-year-old is contracted until the end of the next World Cup in Russia, though the former Fulham boss has expressed a desire to manage abroad one day.

"When we negotiated Chris' new contract, we were all very clear at the time Chris has done a fantastic job with us," said Ford.

"We have only ever negotiated a two-year term. We did talk about a four-year term, but we all concluded relatively quickly that Russia was the goal and wouldn't that be fantastic [to get to Russia].

A return to the Principality Stadium?

Coleman wants Wales to continue playing home matches at Cardiff City Stadium despite the increased interest in the national team.

The 33,000-capacity home of Cardiff City will stage Wales' first 2018 World Cup qualifier, against Moldova, on 5 September.

But Ford says Wales will be returning to the Principality Stadium for a match at some point in the near future, suggesting they could play a friendly there as the 72,500-capacity ground prepares to host the 2017 Champions League final.

Wales v England, March 2011.
Wales have not played at the Principality Stadium - formerly known as the Millennium Stadium - since losing to England in a Euro 2012 qualifier in March 2011.

"We certainly would like to play a game there, ultimately because we need to set the stadium up for a football environment," Ford told BBC Radio Wales.

"We'll definitely take one match there."

But asked if Wales would be required to play a World Cup qualifier at the Principality Stadium before the Champions League final, Ford said: "No, it could be a good friendly."

The FAW chief executive added there are decisions to be made as to where Wales will play their home matches in the long term.

"We've got discussions to have," said Ford, adding: "Chris will have his say, I will have my say. Ultimately we've got to make decisions when the timing is right."

"A lot of the fixtures we can't take there [the Principality Stadium] because of clashes with the stadium already being used for other events anyway, so we will see where it goes."

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