“Don’t pass it on to the K League!” cries out the Chukcheon’s baseless attempt to ‘take away the head coach’

The Korea Football Association (KFA) is speeding up the process of hiring a national team coach in time for the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA Confederations Cup North America in late March.

The KFA’s National Strength and Conditioning Committee will meet for the second time tomorrow afternoon (June 24) at the Jongno-gu Football Hall in Seoul to select a shortlist of candidates. The meeting will be held behind closed doors.

The association reorganized the Power Enhancement Committee on Tuesday, appointing Jung Sung Jung (GER) to succeed Michael Muller (GER) as chairman of the committee. At its first meeting on March 21, the committee agreed to select an official leader by mid-March.

In particular, it is reported that there are many opinions in favor of selecting a domestic leader rather than a foreign leader due to lack of time. The committee proposed eight main requirements for the next head coach, including tactical competence and player development, reputation and experience, communication skills, leadership, ability to organize a coaching staff, and performance.

“They should have a track record as a leader and have a wealth of competition experience,” Chung said, “and they should be able to discuss and communicate their technical philosophy with the association.”

While nothing has been finalized, a closer look at the requirements of the Power Enhancement Committee suggests that it is looking for a domestic leader. The most likely candidates include Ulsan HD head coach Hong Myung-bo, former Gangwon FC head coach Choi Yong-soo, and Korean Olympic team coach Hwang Sun-hong.

Hong’s experience at both the professional soccer club and national team levels, coupled with his strong charisma, make him the most likely candidate. After retiring from the U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) Los Angeles Galaxy in 2004, Hong immediately took over as head coach of the U.S. national A and U-23 teams.

He went on to lead the U-20 national team to bronze medals at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Hong was recognized for his leadership skills and was named head coach of the A team in 2013, leading the team to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Chung emphasized the importance of leadership player management skills for the MZ (Millennial Generation), and Hong is widely regarded as the right man for the job. He is also seen as the best candidate to communicate with Hwang Sun-hong, who will compete in the Paris Olympics in July.

The KFA’s attempt to “take away the K League manager” has angered K League fans, including fans of Ulsan HD, where Hong Myung-bo is the head coach.

The Ulsan supporters’ organization, the Cheryong Warriors, released a statement expressing their strong disappointment, saying, “The KFA does not feel any responsibility for the recent events in Korean soccer and is trying to shield the K League head coach from responsibility.”

“Instead of taking responsibility for the crisis in Korean soccer during the preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the KFA rushed to solve the problem on the surface by using Choi Kang-hee, the active head coach of the K League, as a shield, and the result was a deep wound for Korean soccer fans, including those in the K League,” said Chae Yong-won.

“Now, the association is trying to repeat the mistakes of the past and scar K League fans once again. We strongly condemn the appointment of all active K League coaches, including Hong Myung-bo, and will spare no effort to defend them,” he said.

“The K League is no longer the sole preserve of the federation, but the result of the efforts of fans, players, clubs, and managers alike,” he added. “We hope that the K League will no longer repeat the mistake of using the K League managers as a shield to avoid their own misdeeds and resolve this situation with a heavy sense of responsibility and vigilance.”


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