What promise did the new men’s national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann make when he became the head coach? At the Korea Football Association’s press conference the day after the announcement, even the condition ‘Residence in Korea’, which was the only previously disclosed condition, was not clearly mentioned.
The Korea Football Association held a press conference on the 28th with Michael Müller, head of the National Team Strengthening Committee안전놀이터, on the appointment of Klinsmann as the new Korean national team coach. The appointment of manager Klinsman was announced on the 27th. His contract period is until the ‘2026 North and Central America World Cup’ finals.
However, Chairman Müller gave little information throughout the press conference due to alumni and unclear answers, and in many parts, he seemed to deliberately blurt out his words. One of the representative moments was when we talked about whether Klinsman would reside in Korea. The Korea Football Association previously put forward domestic residency rather than ‘remote work’ as a condition for the new coach, but coach Klinsmann lived in the United States even when coaching his native Germany, causing controversy. As if conscious of this, in the announcement on the 27th, it was stipulated that ‘residence in Korea during his tenure is a condition of the contract’.
However, Chairman Mueller said, “It is difficult to confirm the terms of the contract and I cannot tell you. I can say that I have a strong desire to stay in Korea.” Even considering that the overall flow of the press conference on this day was littered with things that could not be said, even what was already written in the Football Association press release as ‘residence is a condition of the contract’ was not properly said.
It was a press conference that seemed to confirm the football world’s observation that Mueller, unlike Chairman Kim Pan-gon four years ago, had little real power over the appointment of a coach. After the appointment of coach Paulo Bento four years ago, the committee meeting, candidate selection and contact process were explained to the public in as much detail as possible. But this time, there was much more to hide.
There are countries where most of the World Cup squads are composed of Europeans, but in Korea, the proportion of domestic players is significant. In the case of the ‘2022 Qatar World Cup’, 14 out of 26 players were domestic players. In addition, there is an expectation that he will contribute to the youth national team and youth development beyond the A national team, but in many ways, he has to stay in Korea for a long time and perform his duties. The degree of stay in Korea was also announced by the Football Association, so the press conference had to be held in a state where Chairman Muller could clearly explain.