Huh takes charge of Korea for second time

December 7, 2007

SEOUL, Dec 7 (Reuters) - South Korea moved swiftly to appoint Huh Jong-moo as national coach for a second time on Friday after being rebuffed by Gerard Houllier and Mick McCarthy.

Huh previously coached South Korea between 1998 and 2000 and succeeded Dutchman Pim Verbeek who resigned in July after his team finished third at the Asian Cup.

Huh, who steered the Chunnam Dragons to their second consecutive Korean FA Cup win on Sunday, told a news conference in Seoul he would put his heart and soul into the job.

'This is a great honour but I feel an even greater sense of responsibility and sense of duty,' Huh told reporters.

'I will put everything I have into the job, and undertake each game as if it's my last.'

Huh vowed to lead South Korea, surprise World Cup semi-finalists in 2002 on home soil under Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, to qualification for the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) had said this week the job was a straight choice between Frenchman Houllier and former Ireland manager McCarthy.

But McCarthy rejected the offer on Wednesday and a day later Houllier, France's technical director, also said no due to resistance from the French Football Federation and his family.

The KFA asked Huh if he was interested and the appointment was confirmed when Chunnam agreed to the move on Friday morning, KFA spokesman You Young-cheul said.

Huh's first big test comes on Feb. 6 when South Korea's qualifying campaign kicks off against Turkmenistan.