Jurgen Klinsmann sacked as South Korea manager after Asian Cup disappointment

South Korea Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann enter the pitch during the AFC Asian Cup semi final match between Jordan and South Korea at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on February 06, 2024 in Doha, Qatar. 

South Korea has decided to let go of their manager, Jurgen Klinsmann, following a disappointing performance at the Asian Cup. The team, which had performed well in the 2022 World Cup, fell short against Jordan in the semi-finals. A clash between squad members, including Spurs captain Son Heung-min and Paris Saint-Germain's Lee Kang-in, added to the difficulties.

 "We've reached a consensus that Klinsmann cannot exercise his leadership as national team head coach for various reasons and that a change of leadership is necessary," said Hwangbo Kwan from the Korea Football Association. Klinsmann, who took over from Paulo Bento in February 2023, had started off well with a victory over Bahrain but struggled in subsequent matches.

The first group game was the only one Klinsmann's team managed to win within 90 minutes. They had to rely on penalties against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16, and an extra-time goal from Son helped them beat Australia in the quarter-finals.

However, the match against Jordan proved too challenging. Despite being ranked 64 places lower globally, Jordan secured a 2-0 victory, advancing to the final where they were defeated by Qatar, the hosts.

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"Klinsmann has failed to display managerial capability and leadership expected of a national head coach in areas ranging from tactics and personnel management to work attitude and others required to bring about competitiveness to the team," said the KFA president in the statement confirming Klinsmann's departure. His tenure ended much earlier than his contract, which was supposed to run until the end of the 2026 World Cup.

Regarding the disagreement with Son, PSG's young player Lee made a statement on social media. "It was reported that I had an altercation with Son ahead of the Asian Cup semi-final," the 22-year-old wrote.

"I have caused great disappointment to all those football fans who support the national team. I am so sorry. I should have listened to the older players and I apologise for not showing a good attitude.

"I apologise to the many people who are disappointed in me. I am well aware of how invested fans are in me as a player. From now on, I will try to support the senior players and become a better player and person."

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