South Korea sack head coach Stielike

Posted June 17, 2017

South Korea axed coach Uli Stielike yesterday after a shock defeat by Qatar left their chances of qualifying for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation hanging in the balance.

"As the results of the final World Cup qualification round did not meet our expectation, the KFA and coach Stielike chose to end Stielike's contract under mutual agreement", said Lee, after a meeting in Seoul.

Tuesday's 2-3 loss was South Korea's first loss to Qatar in 32 years.

After taking up the job in September 2014, Stielike had showed impressive leadership, achieving a runner-up finish at the AFC Asian Cup in Australia in 2015. "But results in qualification for the World Cup have not been what we wanted".

With two games remaining in Group A — and the top two progressing to the World Cup automatically — South Korea is in second place with a one-point margin over third-place Uzbekistan and only four points clear of fourth-place Syria. Two third-place teams must go through playoffs for their final chance.

Lee said Stielike would probably be replaced by a South Korean coach, explaining time was too short for a foreigner to get to know the team before next year's World Cup. The 62-year-old will leave the helm with a record of 27 wins, five draws and seven losses.

Uli Stielike took over in September of 2014.

The KFA have not decided yet who will take over as coach for the final two qualifiers.

The Korean Football Association (KFA) confirmed the decision after a technical committee meeting in Paju, bringing an end to a reign that started on a high but ended with qualification for a ninth successive World Cup far from certain.

"I believe we can produce better results with new people", he said. "I think a homegrown manager should fill the position and lead the team", Lee said. As for the next possible head technical director, Kim Hak-bum, former Seongnam FC head coach, Ahn Ik-soo, former head coach of the Korean U-20 national football team, Hong Myung-bo, former Hangzhou Greentown head coach and many others were mentioned. But Korea has struggled in recent matches.