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French coach emerges as candidate for S. Korean women's nat'l team job

All News 09:07 September 09, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- A French tactician has emerged as a candidate to replace an embattled coach on the South Korean women's national team facing mounting assault allegations.

The French paper L'Equipe reported Sunday that Reynald Pedros, former head coach of the French female club Olympique Lyon, told the French channel Canal+ that he'd been "approached by" South Korea.

Pedros' revelation comes as the Korea Football Association (KFA) is wrapping up investigations on claims that Choi In-cheul, named to the top women's national team job two weeks ago, had physically and verbally assaulted his players in the past.

In this EPA file photo from Sept. 24, 2018, Reynald Pedros gives an acceptance speech after receiving the Best FIFA Women's Coach Award during a ceremony in London. (Yonhap)

The KFA brought Choi back for his second tour of duty with the women's national team, but those who'd played under Choi during his first stint between 2010 and 2011 have alleged that the coach had struck and verbally abused them. Similar allegations have been made by players on Choi's semi-pro club in the WK League, Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, for the past eight years.

Choi is also suspected of hitting players while coaching elementary, middle and high school teams between the late 1990s and mid-2000s.

The KFA said it'll discuss Choi's status with the national team sometime next week, with termination of Choi's contract being an option.

Pedros, 47, captured the Best FIFA Women's Coach Award in 2018 after leading Olympique Lyons to the French league championship and the UEFA Women's Champions League title. Pedros stepped down in June this year, only a few weeks after Olympique Lyons won another Champions League trophy.

Pedros was reportedly the only foreign national among the four finalists for the South Korean women's job before Choi got it.

In this file photo from Sept. 3, 2019, Choi In-cheul, head coach of the South Korean women's national football team, speaks at his introductory press conference at the Korea Football Association House in Seoul. (Yonhap)

South Korea will face the reigning World Cup champions United States in consecutive friendly matches next month -- first in Charlotte on Oct. 3 and in Chicago three days later. And in December, South Korea will host the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship in the southeastern metropolitan city of Busan. North Korea, China and Japan will be in action.

The Taeguk Ladies will also try to qualify for the Olympics for the first time next year.


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