Korea fires coach Cho Kwang-rae

Updated: December 8, 2011, 9:08 AM ET
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- The Korean Football Association says it decided to fire national team coach Cho Kwang-rae to ensure the underperforming squad qualifies for the 2014 World Cup.

Cho had been under pressure since South Korea's shock 2-1 defeat to Lebanon in a World Cup qualifier last month.

The loss left the Koreans even with Lebanon atop Group B with 10 points and needing a point in their final group game against Kuwait in February to progress to the final round.

Cho's dismissal was first reported by national broadcaster KBS on Wednesday evening.

KFA president Cho Chung-yeon said Thursday the organization believed it would have been difficult for South Korea to make it to the 2014 World Cup with Cho Kwang-rae at the helm.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press