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Coach Bonfrere To Arrive Tomorrow

Posted June. 21, 2004 22:24,   


"Gus Hiddink had no influence on the decision.”

International affairs department chairman Ka Sam-hyun, who took the leading position of implementing the on-the-spot pick up of the new Korean national soccer team head coach Joe Bonfrere, commented on the 21st that "in regards to selecting coach Bonfrere, ex-national team coach Gus Hiddink hasn`t exercised any influence on the issue."

Chairman Ka, who returned from a business trip on the day, said, "I couldn`t get in touch with coach Hiddink since he was in Portugal commenting for EURO 2004 on TV. He also added, "As chairman of Technical Committee, Lee Hwoi-taek, requested alleviated selection standards for choosing a Western European native coach who could understand young players, we excluded 10 members on the list and browsed through seven to eight other members to finalize the drafting process by undergoing interviews with the last four.

Chairman Ka commented, " Coach Bonfrere is well acquainted with the committee since he once had been on the candidate list with Gus Hiddink and Umberto Coehlo. He is especially outstanding in managing critical moments when he took the Nigerian Olympic team to the championships despite lacking administrative support."

Chairman Ka, accompanied by vice-chairman of Technical Committee, Huh Jung-Moo, had headed to London, England on June 13 to interview coach Bonfrere, and made the final decision. Chairman Ka explained that the rest of the three candidates were young coaches whose international experiences did not surpass coach Bonfrere’s.

He also added, "Coach Bonfrere made it clear that he had no intention of bringing any coaching staff with him since the opening of the Asian Cup (July 17) is drawing near and he has to play with the players that the technical committee has selected. He has 100 percent confidence in the Korean coaching staff."

Coach Bonfrere will arrive early on June 23 and have a press conference on June 24. From then on, he will shape up the strategies to lead the national team. The national soccer team will be summoned on June 29.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com