“Though we have no results to report at the moment, we did confirm van Marwijk’s interest in becoming the next head coach of our men’s senior football team,” Lee Yong-soo, the head of the technical committee at the Korea Football Association, said at a press conference in Seoul.
Earlier this week, Lee, who was named the new head of the technical committee in late July, flew into Amsterdam to hold talks with van Marwijk on the top coaching job in South Korean football.
“We will wait a little longer for him to make a final decision. The negotiation will be finalized in about a week,” Lee said, adding that the KFA has not contacted two other foreign candidates on its shortlist.
|Bert van Marwijk (Yonhap)|
“At the moment, van Marwijk’s decision is the most important factor in making this deal successful,” Lee said. “Should he decide to take up the post, I am sure we will be able to work out the details.”
The position on the senior national team has been vacant since last month when Hong Myung-bo resigned to take responsibility for South Korea’s winless exit out of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Last month, the KFA said it had narrowed down its candidates to three foreign national coaches. Van Marwijk is the No. 1 choice, though the association has refused to tell who the other two are.
The KFA said it will move on to its second and third choices only if the deal with van Marwijk falls through.
The 62-year-old Dutchman coached the Netherlands from 2008 to 2012, steering his native country to the final at the 2010 World Cup. He managed the Netherlands in 52 matches, recording 34 wins, 10 draws and eight losses, but stepped down after a disappointing Euro 2012.
He has also led top-notch clubs such as Feyenoord in the Netherlands and Borussia Dortmund and Hamburger SV in Germany.
Though Feyenoord under van Marwijk came out victorious in the 2007-2008 Dutch Cup, the Dutchman yielded mixed results during his term at Dortmund.
Most recently in February, he was sacked by Hamburger SV after logging seven consecutive losses in the Bundesliga, the top German league.
Despite his career setbacks, however, van Marwijk has experience leading a country past the round of 16 at the World Cup, a key criteria for the South Korean coaching position, according to the KFA.
He is also proficient in English to be able to coach his players in the language, and can sign with South Korea immediately, both of which are considered attractive to the KFA.
Should he take over South Korea, van Marwijk will be the fourth Dutch coach here since Guus Hiddink, who guided South Korea to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup.
Lee said earlier a new head coach will manage South Korea in a friendly match against Venezuela on Sept. 5 and against Uruguay three days later in preparation for January’s Asian Cup in Australia, the next major international competition.
He will also lead South Korea through the Asian qualifications for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the final regional qualification round scheduled to wrap up in 2017. (Yonhap)