National football body defends controversial hiring of men’s head coach, rejects favoritism charges

Hong Myung-bo, head coach of the South Korean men's national football team, prepares for a media scrum at Incheon International Airport,  July 15, before traveling to Europe to interview candidates for his assistant coaching positions. Yonhap

Besieged by criticism over its recent hiring of the new men’s national team head coach, the Korea Football Association (KFA) defended its selection process Monday while rejecting charges of favoritism.

The KFA posted a chronology on its website detailing the process leading to its hiring of Hong Myung-bo as the new men’s bench boss, and also uploaded a “Q&A” item to offer answers to questions surrounding the legitimacy of Hong’s appointment.

The KFA named Hong, then head coach of the K League 1 club Ulsan HD FC, as the new men’s head coach on July 7. His appointment was formally approved by the KFA’s board of directors in a vote that ran for three days, from July 10 to 12.

The KFA had been trying to fill the men’s coaching vacancy since firing Jurgen Klinsmann in February. It interviewed a few foreign-born candidates and even came close to hiring an American tactician Jesse Marsch in May before the former Leeds United coach took the Canadian men’s head coaching position.

The KFA continued to review candidacies of foreign coaches but did a quick about-face and gave Hong the reins.

Critics quickly argued that the KFA wasted five months going over foreign candidates only for show, when it had Hong in mind all along, and that the KFA disregarded its own vetting process to hire a coach to the liking of its chief, Chung Mong-gyu.

The fact that the KFA hired Hong after only a brief meeting with the KFA’s technical director Lee Lim-saeng, raised eyebrows. Foreign candidates had to do hours of interviews and give presentations on their football philosophy and tactics, while Hong wasn’t asked to do the same.

Park Joo-ho, a former player who had served on the KFA’s National Teams Committee, which was put in charge of the hiring process, claimed in a YouTube video that many of his fellow committee members kept pushing for a Korean-born head coach and refused to even consider foreign candidates. Park also said he was not informed of the KFA’s selection of Hong beforehand and he found out about the appointment while recording the clip that has generated over 3.4 million views.

The public anger reached a point where the sports ministry decided last week to launch an audit into the KFA’s operations.

Against this backdrop, the KFA said Monday it had not committed any wrongdoing during its selection process.

On charges that the KFA gave Hong a free pass because he didn’t have to give any presentation, the football federation said, “Members of the National Teams Committee were very familiar with the coaching philosophy and careers of all Korean candidates, and so we didn’t require any additional materials from them. Hong was the No. 1 candidate among Korean coaches from the very beginning.”

“Coach Hong had led Ulsan to back-to-back K League 1 championships and had already proven his abilities,” the statement continued. “The committee members agreed that if they were hiring a Korean coach, it had to be Hong.”

The KFA noted that before Lee’s meeting with Hong, one foreign candidate prepared a 22-page presentation along with 16 video clips for his interview, while another came with 16 pages of material.

“However, the amounts of these materials do not serve as evidence for these coaches’ abilities,” the KFA added. “Our technical director Lee Lim-saeng was not convinced that these candidates’ tactical choices would fit well with the KFA’s technical philosophy.”

The KFA said it was prepared to pick one of those two foreign candidates if Lee’s meeting with Hong hadn’t taken place. Lee waited for Hong outside the coach’s home on the night of July 5, after Hong had coached Ulsan in a K League contest earlier that evening.

“In their meeting, Lee and Hong discussed how to best run the national team and how to build connectivity between national teams in different age groups,” the 커뮤니티 KFA said. “Lee was able to confirm Hong’s willingness to execute our plans. Based on that, he offered Hong the head coach position.”

Hong is currently traveling to Europe to interview candidates for assistant positions on his backroom staff, and he has also met with South Korean national team mainstays plying their trade in Europe.

He met with longtime captain Son Heung-min in London last week, and then sat down with Germany-based players, Kim Min-jae and Lee Jae-sung, over the weekend.

The KFA said Hong connected with midfielder Hwang In-beom and defender Seol Young-woo in Belgrade. They are teammates on the Serbian club Crvena zvezda.

Hong is expected to return to South Korea later this week and add Korean coaches to his staff. He will likely announce his choices at a press conference next week. 

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LPGA Hall of Famer Park In-bee lands in Paris to begin campaign for IOC membership

Korean golfer Park In-bee speaks to press in Songpa District, Seoul, Aug. 14, 2023. Yonhap

Running for a seat on an International Olympic Committee (IOC) body dedicated to representing athletes’ voices, Korean golfer Park In-bee has arrived in Paris to launch her election campaign in earnest.

The LPGA Hall of Famer landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on Monday night, decked out in a “Team Korea” polo shirt. She will be vying for one of four spots opening up on the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Four athletes from four different sports will be elected by their peers during the Paris Olympics, which begins Friday. The voting results will be unveiled on Aug. 7.

Members of the Athletes’ Commission will serve an eight-year term, and have the same functions and responsibilities as other members. One of the outgoing members this year is Korean Olympic table tennis champion Ryu Seung-min.

Park, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist and a seven-time LPGA major champion, had been scheduled to travel to France last week but postponed her trip by a few days because she was battling flu-like symptoms.

Park told Yonhap News Agency that she was feeling much better.

“I tried to get as much rest as possible on the plane,” Park said. “I will tour the athletes’ village tomorrow and meet some athletes.”

Park announced her pregnancy on July 12, her 36th birthday, and said she is expecting her second child later this year. She acknowledged that campaigning while 토토 pregnant will present some physical challenges.

“There may be some days when I won’t feel great, and I will have to be efficient with my campaign plans,” Park said. “I will have to see what the weather conditions are like and figure out how much I can do. I will try to meet as many athletes as possible.”

Park was chosen as the Korean candidate for the commission in August 2023, beating out other accomplished athletes, such as four-time Olympic shooting champion Jin Jong-oh and volleyball legend Kim Yeon-koung.

“It’s been about a year since I became the candidate, and now that I’ve arrived here, I feel like this is getting started for real,” Park said. “It feels a bit strange to come to an Olympic host city without my golf bag. But I am excited about meeting athletes starting tomorrow.”

In addition to Ryu, Korea has two other IOC members: Kim Jae-youl, president of the International Skating Union, and Lee Kee-heung, head of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee

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Tennis veteran Andy Murray confirms retirement after Paris 2024

Britain's Andy Murray reacts after the men's doubles first round match with Britain's Jamie Murray and Australia's John Peers and Australia's Rinky Hijikata at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, July 4. Reuters-Yonhap

Andy Murray will officially retire from tennis after the 2024 Summer Games, he announced Tuesday on social media.

“Arrived in Paris for my last ever tennis tournament,” Murray wrote on Instagram and X. “Competing for Great Britain has been by far the most memorable weeks of my career and I’m extremely proud to get do it one final time!”

Murray, 37, is a three-time Olympic medalist. He won gold in the men’s singles tournament at London 2012 and Rio 2016. He also earned silver in the mixed doubles tournament at London 2012.

Murray also competed at Beijing 2008. He withdrew before his first match at the Tokyo 2020 tennis tournament because of a quadriceps injury.

Murray is the only tennis player — male or female — to win two Olympic gold medals in singles play.

The Paris 2024 men’s singles tennis tournament will be held from Saturday through Aug. 4 at Roland Garros, the same site as the French Open. Murray is planning to compete in 스포츠 singles and doubles.

No. 26 Jack Draper, No. 44 Cam Norrie and No. 59 Dan Evans are the other men who will compete for Great Britain at the 2024 Summer Games.

The draw for Paris 2024 will be held Thursday.

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Korea projected to win 9 gold medals, finish 10th in Paris

The Korean archery team trains at Les Invalides in Paris, July 21. They are, from left, Lim Si-hyeon, Nam Soo-hyun, Kim Jae-deok, Kim Woo-jin and Lee Woo-seok. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Korea will win nine gold medals and rank 10th in the medal table at the Paris Olympics, a U.S. sports data analysis firm projected Tuesday.

The latest version of the Virtual Medal Table by Gracenote also had Korea winning four silver and 13 bronze medals.

In its June projections, Gracenote said Korea would win eight gold, five silver and 16 bronze medals.

The stated goal by the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee is to win five gold medals and finish around 15th in the medal race.

Gracenote said three of the nine Korean gold medals will come from archery — in the men’s, women’s and mixed team events.

The company also predicted two team gold medals for Korea in fencing — in the men’s sabre and the women’s epee events.

Individually, Gracenote predicted gold medals from An Se-young in women’s singles in badminton, Lee Do-hyun in men’s sport climbing, Seo Geon-woo in men’s taekwondo and Park Hye-jeong in women’s weightlifting.

Gracenote’s projected silver medalists were: Lee So-hee and Baek Hana in women’s doubles in badminton, Hwang Sun-woo in the men’s 200-meter freestyle swimming, Lee Da-bin in women’s taekwondo and Kim Su-hyeon in women’s weightlifting.

The data company listed athletes in archery, badminton, fencing, artistic gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, table tennis and taekwondo as possible bronze medalists.

Among those missing from the list were men’s high jumper Woo Sang-hyeok, one of two flag bearers for Korea at the opening ceremony who will also carry big 한국을 medal hopes for the country, and LPGA golfer Ko Jin-young, former world No. 1 taking her second crack at her first Olympic medal.

Swimmer Kim Woo-min, the reigning world champion in the men’s 400m freestyle, also didn’t make it to Gracenote’s list.

For the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Gracenote predicted Korea would win seven gold, nine silver and four bronze medals. The country finished with six gold, four silver and 10 bronze medals.

Gracenote had the U.S. and China finish first and second with 39 gold and 34 gold medals, respectively. The host country France was projected to win 27 gold medals to finish third.

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‘Land of Happiness’ stars share memories of late actor Lee Sun-kyun

Actors Jo Jung-suk, left, and Yoo Jae-myung pose during a press conference for the upcoming film, “Land of Happiness,” at a theater in Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

As the late “Parasite” actor Lee Sun-kyun’s final work “Land of Happiness” is set to hit theaters soon, the co-stars of the period film were overwhelmed with emotions and struggled to hold back tears as they recalled their ensemble with the late actor.

“Land of Happiness” delves into the historical context of the 1979 assassination of former President Park Chung-hee, centering on the story of Park Tae-joo (Lee) who becomes involved in the assassination under his superior’s command and the lawyer Jung In-hoo (Jo Jung-suk) who defends him.

Director Choo Chang-min, best known for the 2012 film “Masquerade,” said that through this film, viewers will be able to “see what a great actor Lee Sun-kyun was.”

“If there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s this: when viewers watch this film, they will realize what an excellent actor we’ve lost,” Choo said.

Choo also mentioned that the late actor told him that he had decided to participate in the film because actor Jo was in it.

“Lee Sun-kyun told me that he thought Jo Jung-suk was a really good actor and that he wanted to work with Jo and learn from him,” the director said. “I was surprised 커뮤니티 by his attitude. I thought such a good actor still had curiosity and aspirations and approached acting with a learning mindset.”

In response, Jo, with tears in his eyes, said it was an honor to appear in the same work with Lee.

“Lee also told me like that and I thought he was joking. I’m really grateful. I relied on him a lot too,” he said. “In this work, viewers will be able to see a weightiness and seriousness in Lee Sun-kyun that they haven’t seen before.”

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NewJeans members reflect on 2 years in K-pop

K-pop girl group NewJeans celebrates its second anniversary. Courtesy of Ador

The group NewJeans, who debuted in 2022 with its self-titled album celebrated its seconds anniversary. The group quickly cemented its place in the music scene and broke numerous records on major domestic and international charts.

It has achieved rapid success, topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, among others, with all five of its albums selling over a million copies since its debut, showcasing its immense popularity.

Praised for unique concepts, music and outstanding achievements, NewJeans continues to make strides in the K-pop industry while maintaining a distinct identity.

The group’s recent fan meeting at Tokyo Dome on June 26 and 27 exemplifies its rising popularity. NewJeans performed at the Tokyo Dome just one year and 11 months after its debut, the shortest time after debut for a foreign artist to do so.

Despite being a weekday event, tickets sold out quickly, and even restricted-view seats were opened, drawing an audience of approximately 91,200 over two 토토 days.

The strong response helped its Japanese debut single “Supernatural” surpass 1 million in cumulative sales, reaffirming its global appeal.

According to the group’s agency, Ador, NewJeans continues to receive love calls from Japanese terrestrial broadcasters and additional performance requests from regions outside Tokyo.

The advertising industry also seeks new collaborations with the group. In this context, NewJeans is credited with bridging cultural gaps between Korea and Japan.

Having set numerous, seemingly unbreakable records and maintaining a strong international presence, NewJeans is poised for further growth.

Expanding its influence beyond K-pop, the group shared its thoughts on its 2-year anniversary in a Q&A format.

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Growing AI music production puts artist ethics, copyright law under scrutiny

The music video for Seventeen's new song 'Maestro,' released in April, includes scenes thought to be created using artificial intelligence tools. Captured from Seventeen's music video

A sentence in a BBC news article stirred up the Korean music industry on July 11. The article, titled “Will K-Pop’s AI Experiments Pay Off?” highlighted the increasing use of AI in Korean music production, focusing on the group Seventeen.

The BBC noted that the music video for Seventeen’s new song “Maestro,” released in April, featured graphics seemingly generated by AI. It also suggested that AI might have been used in the songwriting process, citing member Woozi’s comments about “experimenting” with AI in music creation.

Following the BBC report, Seventeen quickly denied these claims. Woozi, the group’s member and a producer, said on his Instagram on July 14, “All of Seventeen’s music is written and composed by human creators.”

Fans of Seventeen expressed their frustration by copying Woozi’s message in the comments section of the “Maestro” music video.

After Pledis Entertainment requested a correction, the BBC removed the part of the article mentioning AI’s involvement in songwriting.

While the BBC’s report on Seventeen was resolved as a misunderstanding, it underscored the growing use of AI in content creation in the music industry.

AI-based music production programs are now readily available, allowing even amateurs to create songs and write lyrics easily.

However, this rise in AI-generated content has brought significant copyright concerns. Artists, composers and lyricists are increasingly worried about AI encroaching on their domain. Currently, there are no legal standards, making disputes inevitable.

According to the Korean Copyright Act, a work is defined as “a creative production that expresses human thoughts and emotions.”

For songs, copyright is granted if the sound recording is recognized as a work, and only then can it be registered with the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA). 스포츠 Registered songs can generate revenue from streaming.

Music created by AI is not recognized as a work since the creator is not “human.” For instance, in 2022, AI composer EvoM had six of its songs registered with KOMCA, but their copyright payments were later suspended when it was discovered that the compositions were AI-generated.

Since AI-created songs are not legally considered works, they are not protected from replication or plagiarism.

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K-pop concert films bring stage to cinemas

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK performs during its world tour “BORN PINK” concert at Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro District, Seoul, in a file photo from September 2023. Courtesy of YG Entertainment

Movie theaters are emerging as a new venue for K-pop fans to enjoy performances by their favorite stars. This shift comes as more concert films are being released, filling the gap left by the underwhelming results of recently anticipated blockbusters.

K-pop boy group SEVENTEEN will be releasing the concert film “SEVENTEEN TOUR ‘FOLLOW’ AGAIN TO CINEMAS” on Aug. 14, according to its agency Pledis Entertainment. The movie will follow the group’s two-day concert “SEVENTEEN TOUR ‘FOLLOW’ AGAIN TO SEOUL,” filmed on April 27 and 28 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Mapo District, Seoul.

The film will show the 13-piece group’s first performance at one of the largest concert venues in Korea, performing songs from its latest album “17 IS RIGHT HERE,” including “MAESTRO,” “LALALI” and “Spell.” The performances are captured through 360-degree cameras and cinematic cameras to offer a full view of the stage.

The concert movie will also be screened in special effect theaters: ScreenX with a 270-degree panoramic screen, 4DX with motion seats and effects and ULTRA 4DX.

“As SEVENTEEN’s first concert at World Cup Stadium since their debut, the members proved their reputation as ‘masters of performance’ by connecting with about 70,000 audience members over the two days. Such heated atmosphere from the live concert will offer another level of immersion on screen,” the agency said in the release.

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK is also set to release its concert film “BLACKPINK WORLD TOUR [BORN PINK] IN CINEMAS,” on July 31, celebrating the eighth anniversary of the group’s debut.

The movie will deliver the four-piece act’s powerful performances during the finale concert of its world tour “BORN PINK” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro District, Seoul, in September 2023.

The group set a record as the K-pop girl group with the biggest-scale world tour, holding about 66 concerts in 34 different countries and drawing over 1.8 million fans to attend.

The film will also offer the footage from the group’s global tour, as well as the spectacles of its finale performance. It is scheduled to be released in theaters across 110 countries.

K-pop group TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s first virtual reality (VR) concert film is also set to hit the theaters on July 31.

Titled “HYPERFOCUS: TOMORROW X TOGETHER VR CONCERT,” the movie will show the group performing its hit songs, such as “Sugar Rush Ride” and “Deja Vu” in a VR setting.

“As we contemplated how to more closely communicate with fans, we had the opportunity to participate in a new type of content, so we came to do this VR concert,” the group 한국을 said in the release. “Just as it was a unique experience for the members, we hope it will be a fantastic memory and experience for the fans as well.”

The film will be screened exclusively at Megabox COEX in Gangnam District, Seoul, and is scheduled to additionally open in five cities in the United States, including Houston, Chicago and New York, starting with Los Angeles on Aug. 8.

Singer and actor Lee Jun-ho’s concert film will have an exclusive screening at CGV on July 24, in celebration of the 11th anniversary of his solo debut.

The film, “2024 Lee Junho Concert: The Day We Meet Again” (direct translation), will follow the singer’s concert of the same name, held in January at Jamsil Arena in Songpa District, Seoul. It will show the singer performing a set including his self-written songs against the band’s live music.

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Prosecutor seeks 5 years in prison for Oh Jae-won for ‘allegedly administering drugs’

Prosecutors have sentenced former national baseball player Oh Jae-won to five years in prison.

On the 19th, Sports Chosun reported that the prosecution asked for five years in prison and a fine of 24.74 million won ($24.74 million) during Oh’s hearing on charges of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment of Certain Crimes (retaliatory threats, etc.), which was held at the Seoul Central District Court’s Criminal Court Division 28 (Deputy Chief Judge Han Dae-gyun).

Oh, who played for the Doosan Bears, was accused of injecting meth on 11 occasions from November 2022 to November last year and storing about 0.4 grams of meth in a fire hydrant in the hallway of an acquaintance’s apartment in April last year.

He was also accused of assaulting and intimidating A, who was also accused of taking meth, by smashing his cell phone and grabbing his throat in retaliation when he tried to call the police. The prosecution had previously requested a two-year prison sentence for Mr. A.

According to reports on the same day, Oh Jae-won confessed to the charges, admitting to taking methamphetamine. However, he denied the charges of threatening and retaliatory assault against A.

Oh Jae-won’s defense attorney said, “Regarding the drug-related part, he confessed to the psychotropic drug part. As for the retaliatory assault, it was the victim’s statement, but he also made many unreliable statements in court.”

“After November 2023, he did not take methamphetamine. There is an aspect that he relied on other drugs to weaken his addiction while cutting down on methamphetamine, but the methamphetamine ammunition is clearly confirmed in the indictment,” he said, adding, ”I would like to ask for a sentence including this point.”

“I sincerely apologize for causing trouble and ask for forgiveness, and I am reflecting on it every day,” Oh said in his closing argument.

He added that he was remorseful for failing to protect his loved ones, including his father, mother, and brother.

“There are some things that are not true, but I think it’s all because I fell into the wrong path,” he said, adding, ”I vowed to never touch drugs again, and I will never depend on drugs again to gnaw at myself. I will live the rest of my life with a heart of atonement and service.”

Born in 1985, Oh Jae-won played for the Doosan Bears from 2007 to 2022 as a one-club man. 파워볼실시간

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Let’s run in our team jerseys…’Run in a K League Jersey’ event

Let’s run in our team jerseys!

The Korea Professional Football Association announced on the 19th that it will hold a fan-participation running event, ‘Run in the 2024 K League Jersey’.

‘Run in Jersey’ is an event that combines ‘blockcore’, a fashion trend that combines soccer jerseys with everyday clothes, and ‘running’, a lifestyle sport enjoyed by the MZ generation, and will be held from today until the 11th of next month.

The league organized ‘Run in Jersey’ so that fans who usually wear K League jerseys and enjoy blockcore can have the experience of enjoying and promoting K League culture in their daily lives through running.

‘Run in Jersey’ consisted of three courses: ‘Seokchon Lake Run’, ‘RunPass’, and ‘Running Class’.

Participants in the ‘Seokchon Lake Run’ run 2.5 kilometers along the designated course of Seokchon Lake in front of Lotte World Tower in Songpa-gu, Seoul, representing 25 K League clubs, and post a photo on their personal social media (SNS) using the designated form.

The photo must show Lotte World Tower along with the K League jersey.

Until the end of the event, 50 participants will be selected by lottery every week to receive a gift certificate.

The ‘Run Pass’ event is for fans who want to run in various locations other than Seokchon Lake, including the ‘2.5-kilometer run in any K League club’s hometown’ and the ‘Cumulative 41-kilometer run’ to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the K League.

Fans who participate in the ‘Run Pass’ and gain the most experience points on the social learning platform ‘Runnable’ will be entered into a lottery to win prizes such as team K League jerseys and K League miniature trophies.

The ‘Running Class’ program offers free basic running lessons from professional coaches.

It will be held at Lotte World World Park Square every Saturday for four sessions starting on the 27th of this month.

Each session is limited to 30 participants.

For more information on how to apply for ‘Run in a Jersey’, visit Runnable and the official social media accounts of the K League.

Meanwhile, the ‘Jersey Run’ is organized to promote the ‘FC Seventeen Eleven with K-League × Sanrio Characters Pop-up Store’ held in the atrium on the first floor of Lotte World Tower and World Park Plaza. 토토사이트

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