Updated July. 25, 2014 06:35
A first step has been made to appoint a new coach for the Korean national soccer team. The Korea Football Association said on Thursday that it has selected Sejong University professor Lee Yong-soo to head the technical committee of the KFA. The Korea national soccer team coach will be nominated by the technical committee and voted on by the board of directors of the association. Lee will organize a new technical committee and name candidates, thereby presenting a blueprint for Korean soccer.
○ The glory of 2002 sought again
Lee headed the technical committee during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan. He was instrumental in inviting Guus Hiddink, who led the Korean team to the semi-finals, its highest-ever finish. The committee said it had decided on Lee as he is the right person to raise the position of the committee and meet the expectations of soccer fans.
The technical committee will present a direction of development for Korean soccer and supporting the improvement of performance for each division of the national soccer team. Perhaps in reaction to criticisms that the committee lacked professional expertise and independence, the new committee will be more powerful and is planned to be as independent as possible.
Lee was shortlisted for the candidacy with former Gangwon team coach Kim Hak-beom, and former Incheon team coach Jang Oe-ryong. Lee was cited as a strong candidate early on as he had experience with the Korean soccer team reaching the semi-finals of the Korea-Japan World Cup in 2002, is knowledgeable about internal issues as he once headed the Strategic Planning for Future Task Force team of the Korea Football Association, and commentated for soccer broadcasts of KBS, a major Korean broadcasting station. He also has strong principles as he has often criticized the executive committee. Lee said he is worried about heading the technical committee during this hard time for Korea soccer, but that he would do his best. He said he would decide on a new coach after hearing the opinions of technical committee members. He said he would seek reform with emphasis on a training system for Korean soccer.
○ Naming new coach begins now
The task facing Lee is deciding a new national soccer team coach to follow former coach Hong Myung-bo. Rumors have it that the final shortlist has already been organized. In regards to that, a committee official said naming a new coach is to be decided after organizing the technical committee. He said no candidates have been named for the head coach and nothing has been decided.
The committee has data on some 20 Korean and foreign coaches, which will be delivered to the new, incoming technical committee. Yet new faces that are not included on that list can surface at any time. The Technical Committee is of the position that it can dramatically raise a budget for bringing in a competent foreigner coach. If a foreigner is hired it is known that the technical committee is considering paying the new coach 1.9 million dollars to 2.4 million dollars in annual salary. It is similar to that of Jürgen Klinsmann, U.S. team coach, who got 2.6 million dollars, and Netherlands` coach Louis van Gaal, who got 2.7 million dollars. Former coach Hong is known to have been paid 777, 000 dollars per year. If the new head coach brings other staff, the managers annual salary-related budget could grow to 2.9 million dollars-3.8 million dollars.
○ Temporary coach highly likely for now
Since the national soccer team is slated to have friendly matches with Venezuela on September 5 and with Uruguay on September 8, there is not much time to decide on a new manager. The technical committee could choose to operate a temporary manager until the Asian Cup in January next year. Candidates for the temporary coach are known to be former Ulsan pro soccer team coach Kim Ho-gon, and former Gangwon team coach Kim Hak-beom.