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Controversy Surrounds KFA Selection of New Coach

Posted October. 31, 2007 03:43,   


The Korea Football Association (KFA) is under the gun again for carrying out standard procedures behind closed doors. Three months after national team coach Pim Verbeek stepped down from his position, the KFA is going through a bumpy transition period as it is having difficulty in selecting and hiring a new coach. Members of KFA as well as other related Korean football associations and fans are pointing out that there seems to be some serious rigging in the hiring process of the new coach.

KFA Continues to Deny Responsibility-

There have been raging criticisms about the KFA having the right to select a new national team coach. After all, it is responsible for hiring Pim Verbeek who proved to be a disappointment. Lee Young-moo of the KFA Technical Committee said, “Currently we have 10 foreign coaches and 10 Korean coaches as potential candidates. We are carefully conducting our standard selection procedure.” Other than this, the KFA has kept silent about how the selection process is progressing. Most KFA staff and soccer fans alike are demanding that the KFA should apologize for their initial selection mistake and take necessary action to earn back the trust of the public.

Korean Coaches Likely to be Selected-

Although the KFA has announced that it is looking for the best possible candidate for the coaching job, both domestically and internationally, most Korean soccer fans and anyone associated with the profession are skeptical about this announcement. If it were to select and hire a foreign coach, it would have been working on the process a long time ago. The fact that the coaching job has been left vacant for three months without much action taken by the committee shows that they are determined to hire a Korean coach. A member of the KFA said, “There are many Korean players who are playing in renowned European soccer teams. If the soccer association picks the wrong Korean coach, the players might not be as receptive to the coach.” He added, “It is blatantly skipping the most basic step in the selection process, which is to at least announce that they are selecting a Korean coach or a foreign coach.”

There are Unseen Hands in Play-

A member of the Korea Football Research Center said, “They already have a candidate in mind, and yet they are putting on a show.” The KFA is believed to be operated in less than professional fashion, in which the leader of the pack chooses a new coach and the remaining members ensure that it seems like a coach is hired after a tedious selection process. He also added, “Former coach of FC Seoul Cho Gwang-rae and coach of Daejeon Citizens Kim Ho are listed as potential candidates, but we know that under the current system that the KFA operates, coaches like them don’t stand a chance to be chosen.”

The KFA argued that the national team coach is selected after analyzing various official data regarding their candidates. A KFA official said, “If we select a Korean coach, it will be someone at the helm of the top K-league teams.” But the counter argument to this statement by another KFA member was that no K-league team coach will leave his stable job to become a national team coach because of how unstable the position is. He added, “Only someone closely associated with the KFA will be chosen and will be willing to take on the job.”