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S. Korean football chief Chung Mong-gyu to pursue 3rd term

Korea Football Association President Chung Mong-gyu speaks at the inauguration ceremony for the new K3 and K4 leagues in Seoul on May 13. (Yonhap)
Korea Football Association President Chung Mong-gyu speaks at the inauguration ceremony for the new K3 and K4 leagues in Seoul on May 13. (Yonhap)
The current South Korean football chief Chung Mong-gyu will seek his third term at the helm.

An official with the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Tuesday that Chung, its current president, submitted his letter of intent to run for another term earlier in the day, and it will be officially processed Wednesday.

Under KFA rules, Chung will be suspended from duty during his campaigning period. Cho Byung-deuk, the most senior among seven vice presidents, will serve as the interim president.

The deadline to hand in letters of intent is next Monday. The KFA will meet that day to form its election administration committee, to be headed by an outside official. The deadline to formally register as candidates will likely fall between Dec. 21 and 23. The election is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2021.

The president will be voted on by regional football federation representatives, K League and amateur players, coaches and referees, totaling 200.

Chung, chief executive of the construction firm Hyundai Development Co., served his first KFA term from January 2013 to June 2016. He ran unopposed in the next election in July 2016 and received unanimous support from 98 voters on hand.

Under amended election rules, an unopposed candidate will not be put to a vote but will instead have his or her candidacy reviewed by the election committee.

According to the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC), heads of its member federations may serve no more than two consecutive terms, but exceptions are granted if their contributions to their sport can be clearly established.

Chung received the green light from the KSOC to go for his third straight term last Saturday.

Chung has delivered on most of his pledges before the second election, including building a multidivision system in the pro ranks and constructing a second national training center to join the current facility in Paju, north of Seoul.

During Chung's second term, South Korea captured the 2018 Asian Games gold medal and finished runners-up at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the country's best performance at a FIFA men's tournament in any age group. In January this year, the country won the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championship, which doubled as the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament.

A source close to Chung said the 58-year-old had thought long and hard about seeking another term and only decided over the weekend to go for it.

"He has said all along that if someone stepped up that he felt could lead the KFA, he wasn't going to run again," the source said. "But people around him convinced him to give it another go." (Yonhap)
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