South Korean media claims Kim is Vietnam's new football coach, but VFF cagey

By Hieu Luong   April 28, 2024 | 09:39 pm PT
South Korean media claims Kim is Vietnam's new football coach, but VFF cagey
Kim Sang-sik as head coach of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the K-League 1 of South Korea. Photo by K-League
Major South Korean newspapers reported Monday that Kim Sang-sik, who has won the K-League 1 twice as coach, will manage the Vietnamese national team.

Curiously, the Vietnam Football Federation have said they are yet to made a decision.

Yonhap news agency cited its sources as saying that Kim has reached agreement in principle to coach Vietnam, and the two sides are working on details.

But it claimed the two sides have agreed on a two-year contract, and the VFF are expected to unveil the new coach after the Reunification holidays that end on May 1.

TV channel KBS was the first to report Kim’s appointment and was followed by newspapers Osen, News1 and Newsis.

But a VFF official told VnExpress Monday the federation had not finalized any option.

"Appointing the head coach of a national team is an important task that requires careful consideration and negotiation. Our candidates now are all Asian."

Kim, 48, coached Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from 2020 to 2023, winning the K-League 1 in 2021 and Korea FA Cup in 2022 and the award for best coach both seasons.

He and his club traveled to Vietnam in 2022 for the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

As a player, he had won five K-League 1 titles -- in 2001, 2002, 2006 (with Seongnam FC), 2009 and 2011 (Jeonbuk) -- and the runner-up medal at the 2011 AFC Champions League.

He played 59 times for the South Korea national team between 2000 and 2012, including for the teams that finished third in the Asian Cup in 2000 and 2007.

If the reports are true, Kim will be the second Korean manager of the Vietnamese football team after Park Hang-seo who held the job between 2017 and 2023, taking Vietnam to historic highs. His teams finished runners-up at the 2018 U23 Asian Cup, won the 2018 AFF Cup, made it to the quarterfinal of Asian Cup 2019, and entered the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup.

Park's successor Frenchman Philippe Troussier did not meet expectations and his contract was terminated prematurely in March after Vietnam suffered consecutive losses to Indonesia in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

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