Sacked South Korean coach tears into Vietnamese club

By Hieu Luong   January 22, 2024 | 09:49 pm PT
Sacked South Korean coach tears into Vietnamese club
Gong Oh-kyun as the head coach of Cong An Ha Noi. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Gong Oh-kyun, the sacked former coach of Cong An Ha Noi, has lamented on social media that an unnamed club official completely undermined his authority.

Gong was sacked after the seventh-round match of the V. League this season on Dec. 23. CAHN had failed to win four consecutive games before that.

Technical director Tran Tien Dai took over as interim manager and the team won the next game 3-0.

Gong has returned to South Korea, and on Sunday decided to reveal the truth about what happened at CAHN in a Facebook post.

A director of CAHN, whom he did not name, had interfered in team selection.

"Despite the head coach's authority and responsibility, the director, who had planned to leave the team the day before the game, returned and insisted, bordering on coercion, that certain players should play. The fact that external pressure was applied and that there would be disadvantages if these were not followed remains something that I cannot understand from a common sense point of view.

"As head coach, I felt not only helpless but devastated when I saw the players not giving 100% on the field due to these things."

In his last game as coach, against Khanh Hoa FC, which CAHN lost 1-2, goalkeeper Filip Nguyen had left his goal to join an attack in the last play of the game to look for an equalizer.

He had specifically instructed Filip to stay put to avoid conceding more goals in case of a counterattack.

"But the director hit me on the back. A ridiculous situation was created in which the head coach's authority was undermined by ordering a player (Filip) to participate in an attack."

Gong had been suspended at first due to a poor streak in the V. League. He had accepted the decision and took a break, but as he was preparing to return in January, he realized the club had not meant to keep their word.

"Before I knew it, I had been notified of my dismissal, and the club's promise to give me a chance until the end of the first round was not kept.

"Despite the extremely unfair situation, I cooperated with the club as much as possible to fulfill the terms of the contract, but someone leaked the details of my contract to the outside world and began to frame it through the media as 'I refused to terminate the contract because of money'."

When they could not reach agreement, CAHN had put unbearable pressure on him until he finally terminated his contract on Jan 18, Gong said.

"I believe I am not the only one who is being treated like this. I am leaving Vietnam, but I am telling you this detailed story in the hope that no one suffers the same things I did."

He did not intend to take his case to the Vietnam Football Federation or FIFA.

But even before he terminated the contract, on Jan. 15 CAHN paraded their new head coach, former Thai player Kiatisuk Senamuang.

The club have not commented on Gong's post.

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