The Korean Football Association revealed poor results and concerns over Korea Republic's qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ led to the decision to sack coach Cho Kwang-Rae.
Hwangbo Kwan, chairman of the KFA's technical committee - the body that oversees the national team - told a press conference in Seoul today that while the decision was not taken lightly, it was ultimately necessary.
Hwangbo, who resigned as FC Seoul boss earlier this year, pointed to a 3-0 friendly defeat against Japan in August and then November's shock 2-1 loss in Lebanon during qualification for Brazil 2014 as the main reasons behind Cho's dismissal.
That defeat means South Korea needs a point against Kuwait in the final group game in February to be sure of a place in the final phase of qualification. "I met coach Cho on the evening of the seventh and told him of the decision," said Hwangbo.
"After the defeat in Japan and then in Lebanon, we studied the problems in the national team closely and on the basis of those, we made the decision. We have studied the best way for Korean football to get through qualification for the World Cup."
Cho was 17 months into a three year contract and was charged with taking the 2002 semi-finalists to an eighth successive FIFA World Cup. Qualification started well but the loss in Beirut led to severe criticism from fans and media.
Despite that, there was little indication that the KFA was preparing to make a change ahead of February's match with Kuwait. Now Hwangbo is leading the search for a replacement. "We will appoint a coach who knows Korea Republic football well within this month," he said.
Jeonbuk Motors championship winning boss Choi Kang-Hee, current Olympic coach Hong Myong-Bo and Iranian Afshin Ghotbi, manager of J.League club Shimizu S-Pulse and former assistant coach with South Korea have all been named as possible contenders but all three are yet to express an interest in the job.