The Korea Football Association on Wednesday appointed former national football team manager Hong Myung-bo its new general secretary, and former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung the new chief of its youth football department.
The move is part of an effort to lift Korean football out of the doldrums. Following the dismal performance of the national football team, the KFA caused a stir by saying it could bring Dutch coach Guus Hiddink back on the national team. But Hiddink declined the offer because of his other engagements during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Hiddink is a hero in Korea after guiding the national squad to the semi-finals in the 2002 World Cup.
Hong was the captain of the national football team in the 2002 World Cup. He became a coach after retiring and led the Korean football team to capture the bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In January last year he was hired to coach Chinese pro football team Hangzhou, but he stepped down in May this year due to poor performance.
Hong told the Chosun Ilbo, "I want to do something meaningful for the development of Korean football, which is currently shipwrecked. I will try to guide the ship through rough waters."
Park was also part of the national team in the 2002 World Cup and played for Manchester United for seven years. Since retiring from football, Park has gone through a leadership course at FIFA to prepare for an administrative role.