SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s football governing body on Tuesday said it will give Guus Hiddink an official position on the men’s national team, though his exact role will be decided later.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said its technical committee decided to speak with Hiddink first before deciding on his role for the Taeguk Warriors at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“We do want to receive help from Hiddink,” said Kim Ho-gon, who heads the technical committee. “It’s going to be a problem if we make a job proposal without discussing it with Hiddink.”
Hiddink — who previously led South Korea to the semifinals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup — said in a press conference in Amsterdam on Sept. 14 that he is willing to help the national team in any way. The 70-year-old then said he was thinking more of an advisory role rather than a coaching position at the moment.
Kim said after Hiddink’s media interview, the KFA sent an email to the Dutch tactician to find out his preferred role and conditions but has yet to receive an answer from him.
“Hiddink will get a position within the national team, and his job will not be a symbolic one,” he said. “If we had received Hiddink’s answer before the meeting, we might have discussed his role in detail.”
Kim said the KFA officials are expected to meet Hiddink next month, when the national team plays a friendly match against Russia in Moscow. Hiddink, who coached Russia from 2006 to 2010, reportedly played a crucial role in helping South Korea set up the friendly versus the 2018 World Cup hosts.
“I think once we meet him, we’ll have further progress on deciding his role,” he said. “We have to think about authorities and in which areas he wants to give help in detail.”
Kim, however, reaffirmed that there will be no coaching change and emphasized the current boss Shin Tae-yong will lead the national team at the World Cup in Russia.
Shin, who was hired in July after Uli Stielike’s ousting, managed South Korea to their ninth consecutive World Cup appearance earlier this month. But he was criticized for the team’s poor performance in the last two qualifying matches, both of which ended in scoreless draws.
The South Korean football community has been abuzz after local media, citing Roh Je-ho, secretary-general of the nonprofit Guus Hiddink Foundation in Seoul, reported that Hiddink was eyeing a coaching job. The report came only hours after South Korea clinched a World Cup finals spot with Shin at the helm, after a 0-0 draw in Uzbekistan on Sept. 5.
While calls from South Koreans to bring Hiddink back as head coach are increasing — with some even posting their requests on the official website of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae — the KFA has rejected the possibility of Hiddink replacing Shin, saying the 46-year-old South Korean is contracted through the World Cup.
The KFA, however, said it is ready to listen to advice from Hiddink when the team needs help. Shin also said Monday that he is willing to accept Hiddink’s help if the former Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven manager joins the national team without “personal greed.”