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S. Korean football honcho Chung Mong-gyu chosen for 3rd term

All News 09:39 January 07, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean football chief Chung Mong-gyu was chosen for his third term at the sport's helm Thursday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced Chung will begin his new four-year term on Jan. 27, following ratification by the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC).

Per election rules at the KFA, Chung had been suspended from active duty after declaring his intent to seek a third term on Dec. 2. The KFA said he will resume duty immediately Thursday and wrap up his second term over the next 20 days.

Chung, the KFA president since 2013, was the lone candidate in the election that had been scheduled for Wednesday. Because Chung was unopposed, the KFA's election committee, in place of a traditional vote, reviewed his candidacy and picked him as the president Thursday.

In this file photo from May 13, 2020, Korea Football Association President Chung Mong-gyu speaks at the inauguration ceremony for the new K3 and K4 leagues in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Chung, chief executive of the construction firm Hyundai Development Co., served his first KFA term from January 2013 to June 2016. He ran unopposed in the next election in July 2016 and received unanimous support from the 98 voters on hand.

According to the KSOC, heads of its member federations may serve no more than two consecutive terms, but exceptions are made if their contributions to their sport can be clearly established.

Chung received the green light from the KSOC on Nov. 28.

Chung, 58, has delivered on most of his pledges made during his campaign ahead of the second election. They included setting up a multidivision system in the pro ranks and constructing a second national training center in Cheonan, some 90 kilometers south of Seoul, in addition to the current facility in Paju, north of the capital.

This photo, provided by the Korea Football Association on Jan. 7, 2021, shows its president, Chung Mong-gyu. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

During Chung's second term, South Korea captured the 2018 Asian Games gold medal and finished runners-up at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the country's best performance at a FIFA men's tournament in any age group. In January last year, the country won the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championship, which doubled as the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament.

In July 2018, Chung donated 4 billion won (US$3.7 million) to help pay salaries for national team coaches and develop youth football.

Following Thursday's announcement, Chung said he will tackle uncertainty brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic without fear.

"In the face of a crisis, I think we need to have the strength to fight," Chung said. "I will constantly try new things and take on new challenges as I lead Korean football."

Over the course of his new term, Chung said he will create an environment where "aspiring football players will be able to learn the sport without worrying about costs and play the game anytime, anywhere."

"I can't do these things alone. I'll need support from our entire football family," Chung said. "During my next four years, I'll try to write a victorious chapter in Korean football history with all of you."

In this file photo from Nov. 5, 2020, Korea Football Association President Chung Mong-gyu (L) bumps fists with Junior Negrao of Ulsan Hyundai FC during the K League 1 Awards ceremony in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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