October 28, 2016 13:21
Cha Du-ri was summoned back from coaching training in Germany by the Korea Football Association to serve as advance scout for the national team. Cha retired from the national team with his last appearance in a friendly against New Zealand in March 2015.
Cha will technically play the role of coach, but only those with a top-tier certification from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) are qualified for the role, and Cha so far has just a second-tier one.
"We know it could be controversial, but we figured we urgently need his help," said Lee Yong-soo of the KFA's technical committee. "When he earns the top-tier certification next year, we'll sign a new contract with Cha to have him on the coaching staff properly."
The KFA hopes Cha's joining the national team will boost their morale.
Korea has played four of the 10 Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. With its loss to Iran in the latest match on Oct. 12, Korea fell to the third place in its group -- China, Iran, Qatar, Syria and Uzbekistan -- and there is reportedly some disharmony between the players and manager Uli Stielike.
In a press conference on Thursday, Cha said he "recognizes" the situation. The KFA hopes Cha will act as the bridge between the players and Stielike as he played alongside most of them under the manager before his retirement.
"I've been communicating with the players and will do my best so that they can feel comfortable and gain confidence," Cha said.
Fluent in German, Cha has no problem communicating with Stielike who is said to have cheerfully agreed to Cha's new role.
Meanwhile, Korea will square off against Canada in a friendly on Nov. 11.
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