By Jung Min-ho
Former national football team manager Cho Kwang-rae is demanding the Korea Football Association (KFA) pay him for the remainder of his contract despite being fired along with his coaching staff in December following a loss to Lebanon in a World Cup qualifier.
The issue has arisen after the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) ruled Wednesday that the KFA has to pay Brazilian coach Alexandre Torreira da Gama Lima, for the seven months that were left on his contract even though he was fired with Cho. Both originally agreed to deals that were due to run until last month
The ruling puts an end to an eight-month dispute between Gama and the KFA, and is expected to push the local football authority to also give Cho what he would have earned if he had remained in his post.
Another three coaches recently agreed to accept four months pay after having their contracts terminated. The KFA initially refused to pay them anything, saying they have had jobs elsewhere but eventually reached a compromise. However, there is no sign of an agreement on this issue with the former manager.
“We are in discussion with Cho at this point,” the KFA said in a press release. "Except for Cho, we have reached agreements with the other coaching staff over contract issues and paid the agreed amount of money.”
The KFA fired Cho and his coaching staff eight months ago, holding them accountable for bad results in World Cup qualifiers. Gama filed a complaint with the KCAB, asking to be paid for the remaining period of his contract.
The local Sports Donga reported that the footballing body also offered Cho four months pay but he refused it.
“We have been trying our best to find a compromise with the former coaching staff,” KFA said. “Gama, however, wanted to be paid until July 2014,” as the Brazilian assumed he would be hired until the World Cup that year.
Cho came under fire after the team’s shock 2-1 loss to Lebanon in the regional qualifier and was forced to leave the team. Hwangbo Kwan, head of the KFA’s technical committee said later that the defeat was behind the manager being fired.