Korea sacks coach after Asian Cup disappointment 

Korea Football Association (KFA) said on Friday it had sacked national team coach Juergen Klinsmann after their semi-final exit at the Asian Cup and amid criticism of his leadership.

The National Team Committee, a KFA advisory body, had recommended the sacking of Klinsmann on Thursday, with KFA Technical Director Hwangbo Kwan saying there were “various reasons” to doubt his ability to exercise leadership over the team.

South Korea’s exit from the Asian Cup following a 2-0 loss to Jordan in the semi-finals this month, which extended their 64-year wait for a third title, led to calls from fans and some politicians for the 59-year-old’s dismissal.

KFA President Chung Mong-gyu said Klinsmann’s tenure fell short of expectations.

“Coach Klinsmann failed to demonstrate leadership that we expected from the national team coach, including game management, player management and work attitude, which elevate the competitiveness of the national team,” Chung told reporters.

Klinsmann’s popularity in Korea nosedived during the Asian Cup, with many criticising his attitude after he was seen smiling despite poor performances from his team.

The German’s leadership was also called into question after an altercation between players on the eve of the semi-final left captain Son Heung-min with a dislocated finger.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward played against Jordan with the index and middle fingers of his right hand strapped together.

Throughout his tenure with South Korea, Klinsmann was often criticised for mostly working in Los Angeles, where he currently reside, despite having said that he would spend time in South Korea.

Ahead of Friday’s announcement, Klinsmann expressed his “sincere gratitude” to his players, staff and fans in an Instagram post.