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Despite loss to Japan, South Korean football coach remains popular choice: poll
SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- Despite South Korea's recent loss to Japan at a regional football tournament, the national team's new head coach remained popular among most local fans, a survey showed on Thursday.

   According to Gallup Korea, 78 percent of South Koreans feel that Hong Myung-bo, who was named the national team bench boss in June, was the right man for the job.

   Gallup Korea polled 925 South Koreans over the age of 19 for three days starting on July 29, one day after South Korea lost to Japan 2-1 at the East Asian Cup in Seoul.

   The survey showed that only 5 percent said Hong shouldn't have been named the head coach, while 17 percent declined to offer their opinion.

  


Of the surveyed, 372 said they watched the game, and 83 percent of those said Hong's appointment was a good move for South Korean football. Only 6 percent of the people who watched the game replied that Hong was a bad choice for the position.

   Hong, a former South Korean captain and a veteran of four World Cups, replaced Choi Kang-hee on the national team in June. Long known as a charismatic leader since his playing days, Hong coached South Korea to the bronze medal at the London Olympics last year, and has been tasked with guiding the country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

   South Korea qualified for its eighth straight World Cup finals in June but struggled along the way, losing to Iran 1-0 at home in the final qualification match.

   Since he took over, Hong has instituted a suit-and-tie dress code for players reporting to national team training camps, and has stressed no star player will be guaranteed of a spot on the World Cup squad for next year.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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