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S. Koreans want foreigner to coach men's football team: poll

All Headlines 16:20 July 17, 2014

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- More than four in 10 South Koreans would rather have a foreign coach take over their men's national football team than a local figure, a poll showed Thursday.

Gallup Korea said in its survey of 681 adults, 43 percent said they'd like to see a foreign national lead the football team, compared with 39 percent who said they wanted a South Korean at the helm.

The job has been vacant since last Thursday, when former national team captain Hong Myung-bo resigned in the wake of the country's subpar performance at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June.

South Korea had two losses and a draw to finish last among four nations in Group H. It was South Korea's first winless World Cup since 1998.

According to Gallup Korea, 47 percent of male respondents preferred a foreign coach, whereas 38 percent of the female respondents wanted the same. The pollster said 66 percent of those who said they preferred a foreign coach were in their 20s.

Gallup Korea said a total of 462 people said they have at least some interest in football. Of those, 49 percent said they would like to see a foreigner coach South Korea.

According to the public opinion pollster, 67 percent of the respondents said they were not happy with South Korea's performance in Brazil.

Guus Hiddink of the Netherlands has by far been the most successful foreign national to coach South Korea. He led the team to the semifinals at the 2002 World Cup, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.

Those that came after him have had mixed results. Dick Advocaat, also from the Netherlands, coached South Korea at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. South Korea earned its first away World Cup victory but fell short of making it to the round of 16. Humberto Coelho of Portugal and a pair of Dutchmen, Jo Bonfrere and Pim Verbeek, each lasted about a year on the South Korean bench.

A Danish coach, Michael Schjonberg, has apparently thrown his hat into the ring for the current vacancy, but the Korea Football Association (KFA) has been lukewarm about his interest.


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