Coach Klinsmann compensated $7.5M for South Korea sacking

By Hieu Luong   February 18, 2024 | 04:00 am PT
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann reportedly will receive around US$7.5 million in compensation for his early sacking as the head coach of the South Korea national team by the Korea Football Association (KFA).

The KFA officially announced Klinsmann's dismissal on Friday, less than a year after the German coach signed the contract that was supposed to last until the end of the 2026 World Cup.

For such a contract to be prematurely terminated, the KFA has agreed to pay Klinsmann and his coaching team around 10 billion won ($7.5 million) in compensation.

The KFA was forced to make the decision after the former Germany coach came under fire for a disappointing 2023 Asian Cup campaign.

Despite having a golden generation of players in his hand, Klinsmann was unable to take South Korea to the Asian Cup title when they fell to a 0-2 defeat to Jordan in the semifinal.

Coach Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (C) is at a game of South Korea national footballs team at the 2023 Asian Cup. Photo by Reuters

Coach Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (C) is at a game of South Korea national football's team at the 2023 Asian Cup. Photo by Reuters

The KFA noted that he has failed to display managerial capability and leadership in areas ranging from tactics to personnel management, which culminated in a scandalous bust-up between Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in right ahead of the semifinal. Klinsmann’s work attitude was also questioned, as he regularly worked from abroad instead of being in South Korea.

Also getting the sack after the 2023 Asian Cup is Branko Ivankovic, who failed to help Oman advance to the knock-out stages. Former Czech Republic head coach Jaroslav Silhavy was soon announced as Ivankovic’s successor.

In contrast, Tajikistan’s Petar Segrt and Bahrain’s Juan Antonio Pizzi both decided to leave their post despite achieving positive results at the 2023 Asian Cup. Segrt impressed when he took Tajikistan all the way to the quarterfinal of the 2023 Asian Cup in their tournament debut, beating the UAE on penalties in the round of 16. However, he refused the offer of a contract extension from the Tajikistan Football Federation. Meanwhile, Pizzi’s Bahrain finished top of Group E ahead of South Korea and Jordan before losing 1-3 to Japan in the round of 16. The Spaniard and the Bahrain Football Federation agreed to end their partnership after the tournament.

The future of some other coaches, such as Roberto Mancini (Saudi Arabia), Hajime Moriyasu (Japan), Philippe Troussier (Vietnam), and Aleksandar Jankovic (China), is uncertain, but most are likely to have the privilege of patience from their employers to prove themselves in upcoming matches.

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