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Park Ji-sung named S. Korean football body's youth program chief

2017/11/08 13:41

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SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- Former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung will be responsible for South Korea's youth football policies following the national football governing body's personnel reshuffle on Wednesday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Park will be chief of its youth football strategy department. The 36-year-old, who hung up his boots in 2014, will set plans and make policies for the country's youth footballers. The KFA said it believes that Park can use his experience with advanced youth systems in other countries to help South Korea.

This is the first time that Park will be working for the KFA in an official capacity. After finishing a FIFA Master course this summer, he has been pursuing his career as a football administrator. Park, a member of the 2002 World Cup semifinalist South Korean national team, has also been hosting youth football tournaments with his JS Foundation.

In this file photo taken on Aug. 3, 2017, former South Korean football player Park Ji-sung speaks to reporters at an event in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap) In this file photo taken on Aug. 3, 2017, former South Korean football player Park Ji-sung speaks to reporters at an event in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)

Along with Park, the KFA named former South Korea national football team head coach Hong Myung-bo as its general secretary. Hong, who led South Korea at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, will replace An Ki-hun. The former World Cup Bronze Ball-winning defender will be assisted by former KFA international affairs team leader Chun Han-jin, who will serve as a deputy secretary to manage the KFA administrations.

For the rebranded technical development committee, which will now only focus on setting long-term plans for South Korean football, the KFA selected former Tianjin Teda head coach Lee Lim-saeng. The KFA also nominated former Suwon FC boss Cho Duck-je as new chief of its competitions committee.

The KFA added that former South Korean national team defender and Dong-A University head coach Choi Young-il will be one of its vice presidents and he will be responsible for school football programs.

The reshuffle was made after KFA President Chung Mong-gyu last month promised to make restructuring efforts to boost the competitiveness of South Korean football. Although South Korea have secured a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, some angry fans called for an overhaul of the the football governing body following the men's national team's poor performance and corruption scandal involving some KFA executives.

Chung then said the KFA will have a separate committee only to handle national team coach hirings, and will have a personnel reshuffle to refresh the football body. After Chung's announcement, KFA Vice Presidents Kim Ho-gon, who was also in charge of the technical committee, and Lee Yong-soo, along with general secretary An offered their resignations.

In this file photo taken on July 13, 2017, former South Korea national football team head coach Hong Myung-bo (R) poses for a photo with gender equality minister Jung Hyun-baek after receiving an accolade for his work for youths at an event in Seoul. (Yonhap) In this file photo taken on July 13, 2017, former South Korea national football team head coach Hong Myung-bo (R) poses for a photo with gender equality minister Jung Hyun-baek after receiving an accolade for his work for youths at an event in Seoul. (Yonhap)

"The reshuffle shows the KFA's will to find talented people with expertise in football," the KFA said in a release. "It also reflects the KFA President Chung's strong commitment to refresh KFA manpower and listen to people's voice for a change."

   The KFA said that leader for the coach hiring committee will soon be announced and it will also reshuffle working-level staff. The KFA added that newly appointed executives will officially began their work once their appointment is approved at the general assembly meeting.

kdon@yna.co.kr

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