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Taeguk Ladies coach resigns amid assault allegations

Sept 10,2019
The head coach of the Korean women’s national football team resigned on Monday amid allegations that he physically and verbally assaulted his players.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Choi In-cheul offered to step down from the post earlier in the day to take the fall for mounting assault allegations, and it promptly accepted the resignation.

The KFA hired Choi as the new women’s team bench boss on Aug. 29 for his second tour of duty. Choi had earlier coached the Taeguk Ladies from October 2010 to September 2011 and led the country to a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Choi held his introductory press conference last Tuesday, but a news report the following day, citing Choi’s former players, claimed that Choi had struck and verbally abused national team players during his first coaching stint.

The KFA launched its own investigation into the allegations. Similar allegations have been made by players on Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, Choi’s semi-pro club in the WK League, for the past eight years. Choi is also suspected of hitting players while coaching elementary, middle and high school teams between the late 1990s and mid-2000s.

Choi issued an apology through the KFA.

“I understand the passage of time doesn’t justify or erase what happened, and I am terribly sorry for my action,” he said. “My apology may not be enough to heal all the wounds. But I am deeply regretting what I did, and hopefully people will see sincerity in my apology.”

Kim Pan-gon, a KFA executive in charge of appointing national team coaches, gave a mea culpa on his failure to run an appropriate background check on Choi.

Yonhap