Qatar World Cup story No. 2701 in a month revealed… Football Association “There was a clash, but we couldn’t break the rules”

Son Heung-min’s personal trainer Ahn Deok-soo’s explanation of the problem
“There were some shortcomings, but the players also have some regrets.”

▲ Instagram of coach Ahn Deok-soo

“There was a conflict. But I couldn’t break the rules.”

The Korea Football Association announced its official position on the ‘personal trainer controversy’ which became an issue immediately after advancing to the round of 16 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Although there is conflict between some players and the association, the key point is that the rules could not be broken.

On the 10th, the Korea Football Association released a statement on its homepage regarding the raising of problems by Ahn Deok-soo, personal rehabilitation coach for national team captain Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham). The access statement was long enough to exceed 6,000 characters. The association summarized the facts regarding Coach Ahn, the players, and the medical team, and explained that there were “some shortcomings,” but “the players also regret it.”

In particular, it was revealed that some players insisted that Ahn join the medical team, and the leader of the medical team, who was suspected of conflict with him, pressured him to leave the team and return home. The association drew attention to the fact that “the attitude of trying to carry out the request without acknowledging the legal process is inappropriate,” and that “it is inconsiderate to make inappropriate comments towards the staff and workers on duty, even though it is only it was a small part.”

Previously, on the 7th of last month, Coach Ahn attacked the society through a social network service (SNS), saying, “Many things happened in Room 2701 (National Team Accommodation),” and “There will be a future for ball -the Korean foot. only if we reflect and improve on this incident.” he did. Coach Ahn, who managed the physical condition of some players as a personal trainer for Son Heung-min, remained suddenly silent after the first exposure, raising various theories as to what the mentioned ‘problem situation’ was. Afterwards , Ahn Trainor deleted the post on social media.

The Football Association, which had been silent after Coach Ahn’s revelation, said in this statement, “It was judged that it was not appropriate to respond directly to the individual emotions that were poured out on social media without explaining the reason or r clear content. In a promising atmosphere that encourages the team’s hard work, it could have caused a misunderstanding by mentioning it hastily.”

According to the association, between November 2021 and June last year, some players asked Trainer Ahn to join the association’s duty staff on two occasions. In response, the association explained that it had told the players to go through the formal process, but there was no support from Coach Ahn. In addition, according to the relevant laws that came into force in February 2021, only those with specific qualifications could be employed, but Ahn Trainer confirmed that some of them were not, the association added.

Ahn Deok-soo Instagram Coach” style=”padding: 0px; margin: 0px”>The coach of the Korean national football team and Ahn Deok-soo (white short-sleeved T-shirt in the middle).  Ahn Deok-soo Coach's Instagram

Click to see the original.

Korea national football team and coach Ahn Deok-soo (middle white short-sleeved T-shirt).
Ahn Deok-soo Coach’s Instagram

In the end, when two colleagues and Ahn’s coach came to Qatar as ‘external coaches’, the association allowed them to receive treatment if the player wanted.

While around 10 people received treatment from them during the tournament, two days before the first match against Uruguay, several players suddenly demanded that the association’s medical team leader be suspended from work and return home. This was because the leader of the medical team was a key figure who opposed Trainer Ahn joining. These players said, “If you can’t hire because you don’t have a license, why don’t you sign up for a different job, like taking care of equipment, and then do mandatory activities?” It was a lie,” the association explained the situation at the time.

In response, the association explained, “No matter how much the players wanted, they could not hire unqualified people who had not applied for the recruitment notice,” and “we could not condone or promote illegal activities until the agency carried out the public issues handling the situation.” Regarding the ‘unqualified’ staff with whom the players disagreed, he explained in 2020, when he signed a two-year contract with him, that there was no procedural problem because the relevant laws requiring certification were not being enforced .Instead, they were said to have informed the policy that they could not renew the contract if they did not meet the qualifications.

When a serious internal atmosphere was created, with many workers protesting against the request to return the medical team leader, saying, “If we send him back, we will return, too,” and the association instead ordered him stop his treatment activities. The association said, “I thought that continuing work in a situation where a conflict had arisen would become stressful for both parties and the players,” and said, “We informed this fact, and the players agreed and the problem was settled.”

In addition, it was reported that the players were confused because coach Ahn did not accept the diagnosis made by the association’s medical team after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination at an official designated hospital of the International Football Federation (FIFA). The association noted, “We are well aware that Ahn Deok-soo, who was trusted by the players, worked hard.”

However, the association reflected, “If it was an issue that the players had asked for for a long time, we should have listened to it and found another solution to solve the problem.”

“Recently, there is a trend to hire personal trainers to manage the physical condition more thoroughly, so this trend is expected to grow even more,” he said. The association intends to review the relevant regulations by the beginning of March and apply the policy decided upon at the end of that month when the national team has just been assembled.

Reporter Kim Dong-hyun

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