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Bonfrere Lashes Out at Advocaat, Korean Soccer Officials

Bonfrere Lashes Out at Advocaat, Korean Soccer Officials

Posted October. 15, 2005 07:52,   


Johannes Bonfrere (59), former head coach of the Korean national football team, recently spoke bitterly about current head coach Dick Advocaat.

“Voetbal International,” a Dutch soccer magazine, mentioned in its October 14 edition that Bonfrere said, “The Korean team that Advocaat is currently leading is the team that I had already made. It is shameful that he is speaking ill of me.”

According to the magazine, Bonfrere said, “Advocaat trashed me when he said, ‘I have accepted the head coach position not to become a second Bonfrere, but to become a second Guus Hiddink.’”

Bonfrere also stated, “I raised the Korean team’s level of play to the top, but the technical committee constantly put me into trouble instead of helping me, always asking for the roster two weeks before a game and checking their unwanted players off the list.” He said that last December, prior to a match against Germany, “the president asked to see me, and looking at the list that I drew up, he said, ‘Coach, this striker is not good,’ and asked me to remove a certain player from the team. I banged the table and shouted, ‘Go to hell.’”

Regarding this statement, assistant coach Pim Verbeek said, “It is not clear whether the ‘president’ refers to KFA president Chung Mong-jun or chairman of the technical committee Lee Hwoi-taek, because Voetball International only mentioned a ‘bondvorzitter’ (president) without stating a name.”

The Korean Football Association (KFA) explained, “Before the match, Chung Mong-jun was in Switzerland on business regarding a FIFA matter and only returned the day the game took place. He never said anything like that to Bonfrere.”

On the statement that “the technical committee asked for a roster of the national team two weeks before the match,” KFA explained, “It was inevitable if we were to summon players according to FIFA rules.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com