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Discussion on the 15th was delayed only due to video

It is time for the Korea Football Association to wrap up the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup. The A team aimed to regain the top spot in Asia for the first time in 64 years under coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but failed to make it to the semifinals.

His performance in advancing to the semifinals never met expectations, which he claimed was the best performance ever. Moreover, Klinsmann's performance throughout the entire tournament failed to represent the high value of the players' names. He has displayed ups and downs like a grain of sand, as evidenced by the prevailing public opinion that he seeks to hold Klinsmann responsible for his performance.

Contrary to Klinsmann's confidence, the Korean national team failed to pass the group 1st place from the group stage. It had to have a great game in which it felt as if it was sending six goals to and from Malaysia, which it considered to be one step lower than the other. In the tournament, players seemed to be saving their lives just before losing, but after the semifinal match against Jordan, the fluke that depended on players came to an end.

The Korean team also made several disgraceful records in its semifinal performance. It allowed a total of 10 goals, including six in the group league, to join the team that allowed the most goals (joint) in the history of the Asian Cup. This is the first humiliating record in which Korea allowed the most goals in the history of the Asian Cup. In addition, zero effective shootings in the match against Jordan are shameful, which has never been seen before.

Concerns have grown that the Klinsmann, which departed with confidence to win, will be sucked into the wind and waves in future voyages as it failed to achieve its goal and exposed various problems. With the second qualifying round for the 2026 FIFA North-Central American World Cup in Asia having to resume from March, trust has fallen to the bottom whether it will be able to continue to entrust coach Klinsmann with the baton.

Above all, Klinsmann's insincere attitude, as well as his lack of leadership, is another factor that causes controversy over his possible dismissal. Controversy over his overseas trip has been catching up like a tag for a year since he took the helm. When he first took the helm in Korea, he said, "I will reside full-time and focus on identifying players," but as he spent more and more time in the U.S. and Europe, he caused trouble due to frequent overseas trips.

There were many complaints from fans about working remotely. "The way we work could be different," Klinsmann said in August last year. It seems that a misunderstanding has arisen. "I don't want to blame others for questioning why the coach is not in Korea and thinking negatively," he said. "I think it's a bigger picture. You probably don't know how much he communicates with Cha Du-ri. He is not resting at all."

Coach Klinsmann has no choice but to judge based on the result because he is blocking the preparation process and development. The coach is also in a position to watch the results. As if to break through the critical public opinion, he said, "The Asian Cup will be the reference point. If the results are not good, we have no choice but to put it to the test. That is the coach's destiny," signaling a head-to-head breakthrough.

However, despite his elimination from the semifinals, Klinsmann said, "Since I advanced to the quarterfinals, I cannot say that it was a failure. I personally felt how difficult the event was. As the event was held in the Middle East, East Asian teams including Korea, Japan, and China struggled. Nevertheless, I am very positive about advancing to the semifinals," putting his position in jeopardy.

There is no improvement in attendance issues. He headed straight to his home in the U.S. as soon as he returned home with the Korean team. Klinsmann said he would go back to Korea to analyze the Asian Cup, but his own vacation came first. "I don't know if I return to Korea after a short break, but I will move to Europe to watch Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain)." As he lacked understanding of players in Korea, not in Europe, throughout the Asian Cup, he did not seem to understand how to play.

Consequently, the KFA has decided to discuss issues including Klinsmann's future. The KFA held a meeting presided over by full-time Vice Chairman Kim Jeong-bae at the KFA building in central Seoul from 10 a.m. on Saturday. Other attendees included OTC Ryong, Lee Seok-jae, Vice Chairman Choi Young-il, Michael Mueller, Chairman of the Korea Triumph Commission, Jeong Hae-sung, Chairman of the Korea Trials Commission, Lee Jung-min, Chairman of the Korea Trials Commission, Technical Committee Chairman Lee Im-saeng, Technology Division Head Hwang Ji-soo, and Head of Management Division Jeon Han-jin.

While holding the meeting with a dark expression, Chung Ga-yeon, head of the public relations department, said, "Starting with the review of the Qatar Asian Cup, it was conducted in a free discussion on the overall issue of the competition. After that, a power lecture committee will be held within this week, and the final decision will be announced as soon as possible."

However, it is not known how thoroughly they will discuss their opinions due to the absence of the parties involved and decision makers. A KFA official said, "The professional committee members who were from Gyeonggi Province freely dealt with what they felt while watching the competition. I understand that they discussed the overall aspects."

Klinsmann's replacement will likely be addressed mostly at the upcoming meeting of the National Team Korea Reinforcement Committee. Currently, the committee members include Chairman Mueller, Pohang Steelers coach Park Tae-ha, Chungcheongbuk-do Cheongju FC coach Choi Yoon-kyum, Incheon United coach Cho Sung-hwan, Gwangju FC coach Lee Jung-hyo, and Hanyang University coach Chung Jae-kwon.

However, as he is the current head coach, discussions continued between the 15th and the 16th over the schedule of the committee's meeting over winter training and games. After a long talk, a teleconference has been held. The Korea Football Association will hold the first power reinforcement committee in 2024 at 11 a.m. on the 15th. A total of nine people, including Klinsmann and Müller, will attend. "Klinsmann and several other members will attend via video."

As soon as decisions are made on Klinsmann's future, he will take the process of conveying his opinions to high-ranking officials. After all, the final decision maker is Chairman Chung Mong-gyu, who is avoiding controversy over the Asian Cup by not attending executive meetings. The KFA said it would make a decision as soon as possible, but critics say that if Chairman Chung Mong-gyu continues to withdraw, he may not be able to make a decision in line with the qualifying round for the World Cup in North and Central America.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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