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Hwang Sun-hong

Korea Football Association Appoints Hwang Sun-hong as Temporary Head Coach for National Team

Seoul, February 27, 2024, The Europe Today: The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Tuesday its selection of Hwang Sun-hong, the coach of the under-23 team, as the temporary head coach for the national side. This decision comes in the aftermath of the dismissal of Juergen Klinsmann, who faced criticism for the team’s semi-final exit at the Asian Cup and questions about his leadership.

Hwang Sun-hong, aged 55, guided the under-23 national team to gold in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and was a key member of the 2002 World Cup squad that reached the semi-finals under Dutch coach Guus Hiddink. His extensive experience made him the “No. 1 choice” for the temporary role, according to Jung Hae-sung, the head of the National Team Committee, a KFA advisory body.

Hwang will lead the national side through two crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Thailand in March before returning to his position with the under-23 team. The National Team Committee plans to conduct thorough discussions to appoint a full-time coach, considering the style of football they want to pursue.

The decision to dismiss Klinsmann was made after South Korea’s semi-final exit at the Asian Cup, extending their 64-year wait for a third title and reigniting criticism of the German coach’s leadership.

Hwang’s responsibilities extend beyond the national team, as he will also coach the under-23 squad for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, aiming to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. His challenging tasks also include managing internal team dynamics, particularly addressing the well-publicized quarrel between captain Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur and teammate Lee Kang-in of Paris St Germain.

Jung Hae-sung emphasized that during Hwang’s tenure as the temporary head coach, the committee will engage in comprehensive discussions to ensure the appointment of a suitable full-time coach for the national team. The focus will be on defining the football style and coaching approach that aligns with the team’s objectives.