CARDIFF: Wales have sacked manager Rob Page after three and a half years in charge.

Page, 49, led his country to a first World Cup in 64 years and guided them to the second round of Euro 2020.

But he has paid the price for Wales’ failure to qualify for Euro 2024 which was compounded by this month’s poor friendly displays against Gibraltar and Slovakia.

Football Association of Wales bosses held talks for more than a week before eventually coming to an agreement that a change was needed.

Following an underwhelming performance at the 2022 World Cup, Page faced heavy criticism after an embarrassing home defeat by Armenia during Euro 2024 qualifying.

Wales responded with a memorable victory over Croatia, but their hopes of reaching a third successive European Championship ended in agonising fashion as they were beaten on penalties in the play-off final against Poland in March.

The FAW backed Page in the immediate aftermath of that crushing disappointment, with president Steve Williams saying the former centre-back would be in charge for the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Less than three months down the line, the FAW has decided a change of manager is needed.

Dave Adams, the FAW’s chief football officer, said: “I would like to thank Rob for his work with the association over the last seven years, firstly as the under-21s head coach and then onto the role of Cymru [Wales] head coach.”

FAW chief executive Noel Mooney said: “On behalf of myself and the entire FAW, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rob for his commitment and dedication to his roles for the national teams.

“Under Rob Page’s leadership, our Cymru men’s team has achieved significant milestones and victories which have created many incredible memories for our nation, most notably our first World Cup in 64 years.”

Wales endured a desperate June international window, in which a youthful side drew with the minnows of Gibraltar before a stronger line-up were thumped 4-0 in Slovakia.

Wales were without a host of frontline players for both matches, but that did not stop Page facing boos and heavy criticism from fans after both matches.

“They [Wales’ fans] want me out. I completely understand. I’ve got to stay true to myself and focused on the job in hand. Everything else is out of my control,” Page said after the Slovakia defeat.

Page became Wales boss in November 2020, initially taking over from Ryan Giggs on a temporary basis before getting the job permanently.

The 49-year-old helped Wales secure promotion to the top tier of the Nations League for the first time immediately after stepping up from his assistant coach role to fill in for Giggs.

He won praise for guiding Wales through the group stages at Euro 2020, though they were dumped out of the tournament in the second round courtesy of a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark.

Wales beat Ukraine in a play-off to reach the World Cup, but they made an early exit in Qatar after taking only one point from their three group matches as they were beaten by Iran and England.

Page was handed a new contract running until 2026 before the tournament, but he has left his post before the Nations League returns in September.

He was in charge of Wales for 45 matches, winning 15, drawing 15 and – including the Poland shootout – losing 15 of them.

Wales’ next game is the Nations League opener against Turkey on September 6, with a trip to Montenegro to come three days later.