South Korea’s football association has backed under-fire Dutch coach Jo Bonfrere despite criticism following a seeries of disappointing results.
South Korea finished bottom behind China, North Korea and Japan in the East Asia championship that ended on Sunday.
“His contract is still safe but I don’t think the KFA should ignore public and media calls forever”, You Young-cheul, media director for the Korea Football Association (KFA), said by telephone.
He said the KFA was monitoring the situation but did not want to do anything to disrupt the national side in the run-up to next year’s World Cup in Germany.
Performances under Bonfrere have been mixed although he has steered South Korea to their sixth consecutive World Cup finals.
A survey conducted by Internet portal naver.com said 95 percent of respondents wanted the coach to step down after the poor performances in the East Asia soccer championship.
Struggling without key European-based players, South Korea managed only one goal, drawing against China and North Korea, and losing to archrivals Japan on home soil.
“It seems Bonfrere does not know how to maximise his players’ potential”, said 26-year-old Hong Eun-sik, a member of the Red Devils, a fan club backing the South Korean team.
Bonfrere was a surprise replacement for Humberto Coelho who stepped down in April last year after a humiliating 0-0 draw with the Maldives in an Asian World Cup qualifier.
Turning to experience, Bonfrere has called up Lee Young-pyo of PSV Eindhoven, Cha Du-ri of Eintracht Frankfurt and Ahn Jung-hwan of FC Metz for his next two matches, a friendly against North Korea on August 14 and a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia three days later.