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Aug 18, 2014

Van Marwijk turns down South Korea

Bert van Marwijk watches on as Hamburg lose to Eintracht Braunschweig.
Bert van Marwijk will not be taking charge of the South Korea side.

Bert van Marwijk has rejected the offer made by the Korean Football Association [KFA] to join as the South Korea national head coach.

Negotiations between the KFA and former Dutch coach Van Marwijk, who was sacked from his job with Hamburg in Feb. 2014, broke down at the weekend after an agreement could not be reached.

Lee Yong-soo, the head of the KFA's technical committee, said that Van Marwijk's decision had been influenced by tax-related issues surrounding his salary and also how long he was prepared to spend in Korea.

"I feel bad that the negotiations with Van Marwijk did not work out," said Lee in quotes reported by Reuters. "We did not have much time so we asked him to make a decision by last Friday... but the final response from him was a 'no'.

"I am not sure how it was leaked in the media in the first place that I got in touch with Van Marwijk, but the heated media attention posed difficulties during the negotiating process."

The Dutchman was South Korea's first choice to coach their team having had success with Netherlands, leading them to the World Cup final in 2010. However his tenure was marred by Netherlands' performance at the European Championships in 2012 as they lost all three of their group stage matches and he resigned in the aftermath of the tournament.

The KFA has been looking for a replacement manager since former manager Hong Myung-bo resigned in July following South Korea's disappointing World Cup, in which they failed to get out of a group stage containing Russia, Algeria and Belgium.

Due to the issues arising during negotiations with Van Marwijk, Lee said the KFA would now conduct its search differently.

"We focused on negotiations with him only, but from now on we will contact and negotiate with several coaches at the same time. At least two or three, not one at a time," he said. "Of the many qualities we are looking for in a new coach for the national team, the most important requirement is how passionate the coach is about Korean soccer and how devoted he is to advancing the level of Korean soccer."

The KFA had shortlisted three foreign candidates for the job after reviewing a list of 17 local and 30 foreign coaches before approaching Van Marwijk.

Lee has not revealed the remaining coaches on the shortlist but has asked that the media do not push to discover their identities for fear of damaging the integrity of the negotiations.

South Korea will play Venezuela on Sept. 5 and Uruguay on Sept. 8 as well as Iran in November and are attempting to arrange two friendlies in October as part of their preparations for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia.

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