Korea Republic sack Uli Stielike

South Korea have sacked their long-serving head coach Uli Stielike after a series of poor results in the 2018 World Cup qualifying.

After the 3-2 loss against Qatar on Tuesday, the Korean Football Association made a decision to dismiss Uli Stielike from his position as head coach of the men's national football team during its technical committee meeting at the National Football Center in Paju on Thursday.

However, recent indifferent results on the road to Russian Federation 2018 - including a 1-0 defeat to China in March - have left Korea Republic's participation at what would be a tenth FIFA World Cup finals far from assured.

Lee said Stielike would probably be replaced by a South Korean coach, explaining time was too short for a foreigner to get to know the team before next year's World Cup.

Stielike, 62, took over the team in September 2014. "With just three months to go until the final qualifying match and the World Cup just a year off, it will be easier for a Korean to develop an understanding with the players", he said. Lee Yong Soo, chairman of the Korean Football Association (KFA), also resigned in a shake-up ahead of South Korea's final two qualifying games.

"I think every national football team head coach is an expert, and one year would be enough to build the team for the 2018 World Cup", he said.

But trouble set in during Asia's final round of World Cup qualifiers, especially when they lost 0-1 to China in March - only their second loss to the Chinese in 32 games.

South Korea host already-qualified Iran in their penultimate qualifier in late August before a trip to Uzbekistan in the final round of matches in early September. South Korea play Iran and then Uzbekistan in their final two games.

In Asian qualifying, the top two from each of the two groups will advance directly to the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Concerns were raised when Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min left the pitch clutching his arm during an global clash on Tuesday.

  • Rogelio Becker