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Cancer-stricken club football coach resigns

23:24 January 02, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Yoo Sang-chul, cancer-stricken head coach of the South Korean football club Incheon United, has resigned from his post, the K League 1 team announced Thursday.

Incheon United said Yoo, who has had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer since last October, will be the club's honorary head coach and the club will pay him his remaining salary.

Yoo, a former national team star and one of the heroes of the semifinal-bound South Korean squad at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, signed up for 15 months when he took Incheon United helm in May 2019.

In this file photo from Nov. 30, 2019, Yoo Sang-chul (2nd from R), head coach of Incheon United in the K League 1, celebrates with his coaches after Incheon avoided relegation thanks to a 0-0 draw with Gyeongnam FC at Changwon Football Center in Changwon, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

"Even though I only spent a few months with Incheon, I am taking away so many fond memories," Yoo said in a statement released by the club. "I promise you that I'll be back completely healthy."

Yoo, 48, successfully kept Incheon out of the relegation zone in the K League 1, as they finished in 10th place among 12 teams with a 7-13-18 (wins-draws-losses) record.

He was diagnosed with cancer in October, as the season was winding down, and Yoo stayed on the bench during his treatment and Incheon avoided relegation by drawing against Gyeongnam FC in their final match of the season on Nov. 30.

Incheon United said they named Yoo their honorary head coach out of respect for the football legend, and that they'll continue to support him in his treatment for cancer.

Incheon United will open their training camp on Tuesday in Bangkok with senior assistant coach Lim Joong-yong in charge.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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