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"The Red Devil"

"I hope that Klinsmann will be replaced and all leadership including Chairman Chung Mong-kyu will resign."

The Red Devils, the official supporters of the Korean national soccer team, released an official statement on social networking services (SNS) on the 15th, saying, "We want the resignation of all leadership, including KFA Chairman Chung."

He was very angry at the continued incompetent administration. The Red Devils said, "Even before the shock of the Asian Cup goes away, various articles are pouring out on the cause of defeat. I don't know what the KFA, including Chairman Chung Mong-gyu, is doing in this situation."

The Red Devils then threw a total of four cries to the KFA. The first was to disclose the appointment process of manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

The Korean national soccer team, led by Klinsmann, participated in the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which opened last month. Its goal was to win the championship for the first time in 64 years. However, after a series of poor matches throughout the tournament, Korea lost to Jordan 0-2 in the semifinals to pack up.

Naturally, there are growing criticisms against Klinsmann. Since taking the helm of the Korean national soccer team in March last year, Klinsmann has been under fire for days. Notably, he has been negligent in managing the national team, staying mostly in the U.S., where his home is located, not in Korea.

Throughout the Asian Cup, Korea displayed no-measures tactic. Korea was busy depending on the individual abilities of its key players, including Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in. In fact, Korea's advance to the semifinals was an achievement made possible by the core players' individual abilities.

Naturally, attention is focused on Chairman Chung beyond Klinsmann. South Korea has been looking for a new coach after breaking up with Paulo Bento shortly after the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Coach Roberto Moreno and others were on the candidate list, but the final choice was coach Klinsmann. Soccer fans responded that they could not understand when Klinsmann, who had shown disappointment throughout his managerial career, was appointed.

Since then, he has shown the worst performance at the Asian Cup, and immediately returned to the U.S. as soon as he entered Korea, making a ridiculous move. As a result, the Red Devils demanded that the process of appointing Klinsmann, which has not been clearly disclosed, be transparently disclosed.

The second cry is an explanation of Klinsmann's contract details. Soccer fans are now asking for Klinsmann's replacement. However, according to various media reports, Klinsmann's penalty for dismissal is reported to be close to 7 billion won. A large amount of penalty has been confirmed, and KFA cannot easily dismiss him.

Naturally, soccer fans expressed doubts about the hefty penalty, as did the Red Devils. The Red Devils insisted, "Explain the contents of Klinsmann's contract with a convincing explanation."

The third cry was an explanation of Chung's remarks, saying, "There is no justification to dismiss Klinsmann."

Chairman Chung reportedly rejected earlier this request by some executives to replace Klinsmann. Naturally, this situation is not easily understandable to soccer fans.

The semifinals of the Asian Cup may not look bad on the surface. But if you look inside, you will find the answer. Korea's goal in this year's event was to win the title. It was also classified as the strongest candidate in terms of performance in the history of the event along with Japan. However, the event ended after a series of disappointing performances. Looking at the performance, the semifinal was like a miracle.

Despite this, Chung had strong trust in Klinsmann. When Klinsmann returned to the U.S. immediately after his return to the U.S., Chung reportedly had permission. Soccer fans got angry again when they heard the news. Later, Chung demanded an explanation of Chung's remarks that the Red Devils have no justification for dismissal.

The Red Devils' last cry was directed at the entire leadership team, including Chung. "Hwang Ji-soo, the head of the team who was known to have played a decisive role in directing Klinsmann, Vice Chairman Lee Seok-jae who had a private meeting with Chung, and the leadership and executives, are all proud?" The Red Devils said. In fact, they held the entire KFA accountable.

Criticism about the latest incident is not just pouring out to Chung and Klinsmann. Criticism is also growing against Hwangbo, KFA's chief executive officer, and Vice Chairman Lee. In addition, the KFA as a whole has been held accountable for the Asian Cup incident.

Earlier on the 15th, Hwangbo, head of the headquarters, said in a media interview after attending the first power reinforcement committee in 2023 in the conference room on the 6th floor of the soccer center, "The committee decided that it was difficult for Klinsmann to demonstrate leadership as a national team coach anymore, and the opinion that it needed to be replaced."

Meanwhile, in the second statement, the Red Devils demanded the dismissal of Klinsmann and the resignation of all KFA leaders, including Chairman Chung. It also urged Chairman Chung and the KFA leadership to take full responsibility for penalties incurred during the dismissal process, and demanded transparency in the selection of KFA personnel and measures to prevent recurrence.

He also said something to the players. "I understand the sweat and passion of the players, but it is regrettable that many factions within the time when we cannot unite as a team in the absence of the coach's tactics. Please play for the team's sake and for the fans' wishes, rather than for the individual players' sake," the Red Devils said.
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Friday, February 16, 2024
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