South Korea Football Association Considers Temporary Coach for Men’s National Team

Seoul — In a significant shift of strategy, the Korea Football Association (KFA) is contemplating appointing a temporary coach for the South Korean men's national football team for its upcoming matches, according to a source close to the matter. This move marks a departure from the National Teams Committee's earlier stance on finding a permanent successor for Jurgen Klinsmann.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the decision emerged following internal discussions within the KFA's National Teams Committee. Initially, the committee had expressed intentions to secure a full-time coach to fill the vacancy left by Klinsmann's dismissal on February 16, after South Korea's elimination in the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup held in Qatar. With critical World Cup qualifying matches against Thailand scheduled for March, speculation had been rife about the KFA opting for a caretaker manager in the interim.

Chung Hae-sung, who recently took the helm of the committee, indicated on Wednesday a preference against a temporary coaching arrangement, citing concerns over candidate availability and the need for stability within the national team. However, the committee's approach faced backlash, particularly over attempts to recruit a coach currently under contract with a club in the domestic K League 1. The controversy, fueled by fan disapproval towards the KFA's tactics involving coaches such as Hong Myung-bo of Ulsan Hyundai FC and Kim Hak-bum of Jeju United, prompted a reevaluation of the committee's strategy.

The source revealed that during a subsequent meeting held on Saturday, the committee members reconsidered their position, acknowledging the logistical challenges of conducting a comprehensive background check in time to appoint a full-time coach. This reconsideration aligns with the upcoming K League 1 season, starting next Friday, and the impending World Cup qualifiers, with South Korea set to face Thailand in Seoul on March 21 and in Bangkok on March 26.

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