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S. Korea selects director to handle nat'l football team coach hirings

2017/12/26 16:44

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SEOUL, Dec. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's national football governing body on Tuesday appointed a director to handle national team coach hirings.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said its board members approved former Hong Kong national team boss Kim Pan-gon to lead the newly created national football team coach appointment committee.

"Although Kim didn't have an outstanding career as a player, he has proven his ability as a coach and administrator," the KFA said. "His appointment is meaningful because it shows those who didn't play for the national team can also take important roles if they are talented."

   After playing for South Korean clubs like Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the 1990s, Kim started his coaching career as a player-manager for Hong Kong outfit the Buler Rangers in 2003. He then worked as an assistant coach for South Korean pro football club Busan IPark FC.

Kim is best known for his work with the Hong Kong national team. The 48-year-old first coached Hong Kong's senior squad and under-23 team in 2009. He led the senior team to the finals of the 2010 East Asian Football Championship.

After having a brief stint with South Korean side Gyeongnam FC as chief assistant coach in 2011, he returned to Hong Kong a year later to coach their national team and even served as the nation's technical director.

Kim later helped Hong Kong to reach the round of 16 at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, but was recently criticized by fans for his team's bad performance at the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup qualification.

The KFA said Kim will be responsible for hiring coaches for the South Korean senior national team and the U-23 side. His first job will be finding a tactician for the South Korean Olympic football team for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The KFA last month conducted organizational restructuring to boost support for the national team. It decided to create the coach appointment committee, so that its technical committee can only focus on setting long-term plans for South Korean football.

This file photo, taken on Sept. 25, 2014, shows Kim Pan-gon, then Hong Kong national football team head coach, at the Incheon Asian Games. (Yonhap)  This file photo, taken on Sept. 25, 2014, shows Kim Pan-gon, then Hong Kong national football team head coach, at the Incheon Asian Games. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr

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