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(LEAD) Chung Mong-gyu elected to 2nd term as football chief

All News 16:52 July 21, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS byline, comments, details from 7th para; photo)
By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean business executive Chung Mong-gyu has been re-elected as the national football chief.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Thursday that Chung was elected to a second term as its president by a unanimous vote of the 98 members in attendance. Chung was the sole candidate in the election and needed a majority of 106 electoral votes to retain his seat.

Chung is the chief executive of the construction firm Hyundai Development Co. He served his first KFA term from January 2013 to June 2016.

He has previously been the commissioner of the K League, which governs professional football in the country. The 54-year-old is also the younger cousin of former FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon.

Chung, who is also a member of the Asian Football Confederation Executive Committee, resigned from his KFA post last month to enter the election. Under the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) rule, an incumbent leader of a member organization must resign before its election committee is formed.

The KFA said Chung's second term runs through December 2020.

"I was surprised that I earned a unanimous vote, although this was a secret ballot," Chung said at the KFA headquarters in Seoul after being elected. "I feel a heavy responsibility and I see this election result as a call for me to work harder for national football development."

For his election pledges, Chung said he will establish solid division systems in football leagues. The KFA last month announced that it aims to have seven divisions, while also involving amateur leagues.

"Currently, we have the promotion-demotion system between the first division K League Classic and the second-tier K League Challenge, but there isn't such a system in lower divisions," Chung said. "We will establish division systems across the nation so that anyone can enjoy football. What's urgent at this moment is to have the registration system of amateur football clubs."

Chung also promised to foster a "high-quality" football culture that can help players pursue both sports and academic excellence. The president added the KFA will form a special committee after the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics to discuss programs for youth.

"It's a pity that our football culture is only based on winning games, from youth to pro football," he said. "I want to create an environment where young people can enjoy playing football."

Chung's other pledges are constructing a new training center, enhancing international competitiveness by successfully hosting events like the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and upgrading the KFA image so that its employees can feel proud.

"I want people to recognize the beauty of football," he said. "We want to make this football environment together with all the people."

Chung is also the chief of the South Korean athletic delegation for the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. When asked why he is so actively involved in sports, Chung said he is learning from them.

"I was fortunate to experience various things from my 20-year business career, and I want to use this experience for the development of sports," he said. "There are some similarities between problems in football and problems in business. I'm learning lots of things from sports, and this also helps me manage my company."


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