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Coelho To Officially Resign, Park Sung-hwa To Be Named Acting Head Coach

Coelho To Officially Resign, Park Sung-hwa To Be Named Acting Head Coach

Posted April. 18, 2004 20:37,   


The head coach of Korea’s national soccer team, 54-year-old Humberto Coelho, is scheduled to officially announce his resignation at a press conference to be held at the Korea Football Association (KFA) on April 19.

Park Sung-hwa, 49, the chief coach of the national team, will take the seat of acting head coach after Coelho’s resignation.

At a golf course, Coelho and the other executive members of the KFA such as the vice president of KFA, Cho Joong-yeon, Lee Hoi-tack, and the chief of the international department of the KFA, Ga Sam-hyun, had a discussion during their golf rounds, and made Coelho’s intention to resign clear. “Though Coelho stated that he wanted to step down, he continued playing golf with bright smiles. KFA executives have passed on their desire that Coelho would carry on a good relationship with Korea by taking charge of a technical advisor position with the national soccer team,” remarked a spokesperson of the KFA. “The opinion that chief coach Park Sung-hwa and coach Choi Kang-hee should jointly take charge of the acting head coach position has been prevalent in the KFA.”

Coelho, who was in the hot seat after the national team was defeated consecutively by frail opponents, Oman and Vietnam, was under resignation pressure as the team tied with Maldives after playing a preliminary match of the 2006 Germany World Cup on March 31. Though Coelho intended to carry out his head coach duties until August, when his contract expires, he seems to have changed his mind after his family visited Korea recently. KFA has decided to pay his remaining salary, which was promised at the first stage of concluding their contract with Coelho, even though he is stepping down earlier than the arranged date of contract.

In addition, the technical committee of KFA will discuss the countermeasure for the period after Coelho’s resignation on April 19. “As several matches have already been determined, such as the A match against Paraguay until the Asian Cup Tournament in July, the employment of a new head coach can be regarded as unreasonable. In my viewpoint, the system of using an acting head coach will be appropriate for the national team for now,” stated Kim Jin-kook, the chief of the technical committee.

On the other hand, on the internet homepage of the KFA, many internet users who criticize the easygoing way of thinking of the committee and the soccer players in relation with the resignation of Coelho, have poured in.

“If Coelho is incompetent, the people who picked him up as the national soccer team’s head coach have proven their inability without a sense of discrimination,” scolded an internet user at the homepage of KFA.

“Is Coelho the only person who should take all the responsibility of the defeats against Oman, Vietnam, and Maldives? Coelho couldn’t do anything because the soccer players assembled just a few days before the matches. The more serious problem is the spirit of the soccer players, who have become full of conceit after accomplishing the fourth seat of the World Cup back in 2002,” stated an exasperated internet user at the KFA’s homepage.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com