Beleaguered football chief declines to resign, hints at pursuit of 4th term

Chung Mong-gyu, beleaguered head of the Korea Football Association (KFA), has declined to step down in light of the country's disappointing performance at the top Asian tournament, hinting instead at going for his fourth term. Chung announced the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach of the men's national team Friday, following a meeting with senior executives at the KFA House in Seoul. The decision came a little over a week after South Korea lost to Jordan 2-0 in the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in Qatar. Chung and his officials reviewed a recommendation made by the KFA's National Team Committee from the previous day to sack Klinsmann, based on reasons ranging from his lack of tactical preparation at the Asian Cup to his failure to run a tight ship in the locker room. Chung, who has been at the KFA's helm since January 2013, has also been under pressure to step down and take the fall for South Korea's failure to end their 64-year title drought at the Asian Cup. Chung has be en criticized in particular for hiring Klinsmann in February last year, despite the German tactician's questionable track record at his earlier stops. When asked how he'd hold himself accountable for the situation, Chung resorted to abstract terms without announcing his resignation. "We'll take further steps to analyze reasons for the situation we're in, and come up with measures accordingly," Chung said. "As the leader of the organization that runs national football teams, I will humbly accept any criticism and I'd like to apologize to football fans." The next election for the KFA presidency is January 2025. Chung has been rumored to be seeking his fourth term and virtually confirmed such speculation Friday. "During our general assembly in 2018, I changed articles of association so that a KFA president could only have three terms," Chung said. "However, the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee and the sports ministry did not approve of the change. I will let that answer the question about my future." S ource: Yonhap News Agency