How Hong Myung-bo changed his mind in two days after saying, “Don’t worry,” and can fans be convinced…Watch out for the association briefing on Aug. 8

Ulsan HD head coach Hong Myung-bo has finally accepted the job after expressing negative opinions about the national team’s next head coach.

On July 7, the Korea Football Association (KFA) announced, “Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo has been selected as the next head coach of the national soccer team.” On the morning of the 8th, Lee Im-sang, the KFA’s technical director, who led the selection process after former National Strength and Conditioning Commissioner Chung Jung-sung, 토토사이트 순위 will hold a briefing.

The long-awaited appointment is not without its challenges. When Jürgen Klinsmann’s departure was discussed in February, speculation of a domestic appointment was raised. During a KFA executive meeting, a high-ranking official reportedly suggested that Chung Jeong-sung, then the KFA’s competition chairman, should be given the role of national powerhouse and appointed as Korea’s head coach, and the speculation gained momentum when Chung actually became the powerhouse. At the time, the leading candidate was Hong, who was leading Ulsan. At his first briefing, Chung said that he was leaning toward a domestic coach, but also said he was not ruling out a current K League coach.

Fans were up in arms when the names of domestic coaches, including Hong, were thrown around without proper procedures or explanation. Fans were also concerned about the loss of a K League coach before the start of the season, but after the interim Hwang Sun-hong led the team through the A-Match in March, the mood seemed to change. Foreign coaches such as Canadian coach Jesse Masi and Iraqi coach Jesús Casas were considered as possible candidates. However, the mood changed once again after the KFA missed its self-imposed deadline. After another interim period under Kim Do-hoon, South Korean coaches emerged as the favorites again, with Hong still at the center of the conversation.

Time passed, but fans’ concerns remained. Confidence in the KFA and the Power Enhancement Committee, which had failed to deliver on its own promises, had dwindled. The question of whether they had done enough was inevitably raised. The point about ‘getting rid of the coach’ was valid. The K League is still in season. Hong’s Ulsan, in particular, is in a tight race for the top spot in the K League 1, with only one point separating them from Gimcheon Sangmu.

Hong hasn’t officially said “no,” but he has consistently expressed negative views. In February, he expressed his discomfort with his name being tossed around by others. Even as recently as February, when he was once again considered the No. 1 choice, he was adamant that his stance remained the same, saying, “Fans shouldn’t worry.” This was the case even two days before the KFA’s announcement. “I haven’t heard anything from him,” Hong said at the Hana Bank K League 1 2024 Suwon FC match on May 5, in response to reports that Lee would meet with Hong after his return to Korea.

However, whether it was a hint that he said “not much” rather than “no reason to meet,” Hong eventually spoke with Lee after the Suwon FC game. Two days later, he made the decision to take the reins of the national team. While Ulsan were tight-lipped about the timing of the contact, they did acknowledge that the club was aware of it, saying that they had “fully discussed it with the KFA”.

Lee’s decision came just 10 days after he stepped forward. It took him just two days after the European trip to convince Hong, who had been negative, to agree. As Hong pointed out, the KFA needs to explain how it came to the conclusion that Hong was the right man for the job, as if it hadn’t learned anything from the Klinsmann regime. It’s probably not enough to say that it was inevitable due to “realistic conditions,” which the fans already knew. Ulsan fans, who went from being reassured by the coach that they shouldn’t worry to having their coach leave overnight, need to be satisfied. All eyes will be on Lee’s briefing on Aug. 8, when he is expected to make his case.

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