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Alienating Coach from Players and a Wait-and-See Committee

Alienating Coach from Players and a Wait-and-See Committee

Posted August. 25, 2005 02:59,   


Johannes Bonfrere stepped down from his post as coach of the South Korean national football team after a year and two months. During the time, it has turned out that many problems have been popping up on the national team led by Bonfrere.

One of the reasons why Bonfrere lost confidence is his lack of contact with the team players, let alone the sharing of feelings. He has never analyzed or debated with the players while watching videotapes of the national team’s matches. Instead, he preferred to watch them alone. He even rejected watching videotapes edited for each player, saying it was “unnecessary.”

Sometimes, he surprised the staff by showing up when players were getting massages and insisted that he needed one. The former coach even changed the mealtime and snack menu at his own will.

Under the circumstances, the Korean National Soccer Association technical committee sat back, maintaining a wait-and-see attitude.

The staff and technical committee members of the association repeatedly said that there were communication problems within the national team. However, the truth was clearly the opposite.

One committee member argued on August 24 that the committee wanted to talk to Bonfrere, but he did not seem to accept their advice. However, the responsibility for the recent situation in the national team does not fall only on the coach. The committee failed to coordinate a coach, players, and soccer fans, leading to isolation of the coach from the players and the fans. As a result, the committee itself has been in the bind.

Johannes Bonfrere will express his opinions and give suggestions for Korean soccer at a 100-minute debate of MBC on August 25.

He will leave Korea on August 29.

Jae-Yun Jung jaeyuna@donga.com