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Talks with van Marwijk over Korea’s coach post breaks down

Talks with van Marwijk over Korea’s coach post breaks down

Posted August. 18, 2014 00:51,   


A bid to invite Dutch Coach Bert van Marwijk to Korea as the national team coach has ended in failure.

The Korea Football Association said on Sunday that negotiations to sign a contract with Coach van Marwijk, 62, who was considered the most promising candidate for the national team’s next coach, have collapsed. Lee Yong-soo, chief of the association’s technical committee, will give briefing on the reason the negotiations over the contract broke down on Monday at the KFA building in Seoul’s Jongno district.

A ranking KFA official said, “Many conditions were not compatible. We will have to hold negotiation with other soccer leaders.” He added, “Rather than following the order on the list of candidates we singled out, we will have to start from scratch,” suggesting that the effort to recruit replacement for Coach Hong Myung-bo has come back to square one. As a result, the KFA will take steps anew to recruit the national team coach from among domestic and foreign coaches. At the exhibition games with Venezuela and Uruguay scheduled for Sept. 6 and 9, respectively, an "interim coach" will likely be deployed.

The biggest reason Bert van Marwijk gave up his bid to move to Korea is most likely salary that is lower than his expectation. The annual salary that the KFA can afford to pay him was about 2 billion won (1.96 million U.S. dollars), but given taxes and other expenses, the Dutch coach is believed to have judged it not to be competitive. Van Marwijk reportedly was paid 2.74 million dollars per year when serving as the Dutch national team coach in 2010. Another reason was the duration of his stay in Korea. He highly values spending time with his family. In the talks with the KFA, he reportedly insisted that he would spend much of the time in Europe rather than in Korea when no soccer matches take place. Also, after hearing about the coach post of the Korean national team, who is known as "poisoned Holy Grail" from others who are well aware of the situation in Korea, he came to be less attracted to the position.

The KFA had prepared a list of coach candidates including 17 in Korea and 30 overseas, and selection criteria, including experience in bringing their teams to the round of 16 best teams at World Cup finals and to championships for respective continents, and English proficiency, before singling out three. Then, the association judged as the best candidate van Marwijk, who led the Netherlands to the No. 2 post at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and has been holding negotiations with the Dutchman. The other two preferred negotiating partners were reportedly Jose Antonio Camacho of Spain, and Fernando Santos of Portugal. Upon returning to Seoul on August 7 after meeting with van Marwijk in the Netherlands, Lee said, “We will have good news within a week,” predicting negotiations will proceed smoothly, but the talks have collapsed.