KFA to form task force to address issues with nat’l team

January 31, 2019

The national football governing body said Thursday it will form a task force in response to criticism raised against operations of the men’s national squad at a recent tournament.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said officials from different departments will be assigned to the task force by the end of this week. The task force then will take a closer look into issues with operations and administrations of the national team and come up with solutions by March.

In this Jan. 25, 2019 file photo, South Korean players walk off the field at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi after a 1-0 loss to Qatar in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup on Jan. 25, 2019. (Yonhap)
In this file photo from Dec. 31, 2018, members of the medical staff for the South Korean national football team attend to Hwang Ui-jo (on the ground) following his collision with a Saudi Arabian player during the teams' friendly match at Baniyas Stadium in Abu Dhabi. (Yonhap)

In this Jan. 25, 2019 file photo, South Korean players walk off the field at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi after a 1-0 loss to Qatar in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup on Jan. 25, 2019. (Yonhap)

In particular, the task force will be charged with reforming the KFA’s football science department and reviewing roles of the national team doctor and physical trainers, among other members of the national team support staff.

Kim Pan-gon, head of the KFA’s national team coach appointing committee, will double as the task force’s head, the KFA added.

The KFA is taking these steps in light of its mishap with the medical staff during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month.

South Korea took four rehabilitation specialists to the UAE, but two of them were working without having renewed their contract at the end of 2018 and were sent home during the tournament.

With key midfielders Ki Sung-yueng and Lee Jae-sung sidelined with hamstring and toe injuries, the KFA took some heat for hiring a cardio and thoracic specialist as the main team doctor, rather than an orthopedic surgeon.

“We take the criticism raised during the Asian Cup seriously,” Kim said in a statement released by the KFA. “We will leave no stone unturned in looking at issues related to the national team and will produce effective suggestions for improvements.”

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