(LEAD) Football officials recommend firing of Jurgen Klinsmann as S. Korea head coach

SEOUL, South Korean football officials on Thursday recommended the dismissal of Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach of the men's national team on Thursday after the country's disappointing semifinal exit at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. The National Team Committee of the Korea Football Association (KFA) reached its decision during its postmortem meeting at the KFA House in Seoul, putting the ball in the court of their besieged leader to make the final call. Klinsmann attended the meeting on a video conference from his U.S. home. After the three-plus hours of meeting, Hwangbo Kwan, the KFA's technical director, told reporters the committee members had agreed to call for Klinsmann's firing. "For a number of reasons, we concluded that Klinsmann would no longer be able to show his leadership as head coach of the national team," Hwangbo said. "We will report our conclusion to the KFA." South Korea lost to Jordan 2-0 in the semifinals of the top AFC tournament in Qatar last week, unable to end t he country's 64-year title drought. Klinsmann has been under growing pressure to resign for failing to guide a talented South Korean squad -- featuring Tottenham Hotspur captain Son Heung-min, among others -- to the long-coveted AFC championship. Since the National Team Committee is not a decision-making body, it can only make recommendations to the KFA's Executive Board, which will have the final say. KFA President Chung Mong-gyu, who has also been hearing calls to quit for hiring Klinsmann in the first place, will be the person in charge of that fateful decision on the beleaguered coach. Several protesters braved rainy and windy conditions earlier in the day to set up camp outside the KFA headquarters and call on both Klinsmann and Chung to resign. Source: Yonhap News Agency