Gary White, the English head coach of the national men’s soccer squad, plans to end his tenure in Taiwan and take up a coaching position in Hong Kong, media reported.
White, 44, is the top candidate for a post with the Hong Kong Football Association and his appointment is thought to be imminent, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
Hong Kong officials are looking to replace Kim Pan-gon, who resigned as coach of the Hong Kong soccer side in December last year to become the South Korea national team’s technical director.
News of White’s possible appointment has made waves in Taiwan, with soccer officials and the Sports Administration attempting to backpedal their comments.
The Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA), Taiwan’s soccer governing body, released a statement saying that the decision had not been finalized.
The association would do everything possible to get White to extend his contract, it said, adding that White’s contract expires next month.
“White did an outstanding job. Of course we want him to stay so that he can help develop Taiwanese soccer,” CTFA secretary-general Chen Wei-jen (陳威任) said. “We will continue to hold talks with White regarding a contract extension.”
“In May, the CTFA discussed renewing White’s contract, but there were some issues and no decision was reached,” Chen said.
To blame are two factions in the association that are fighting for control of the group and have delayed an election for association chairperson since December last year, media reports have said.
Sports Administration officials released their own statement blaming the CTFA election feud for any contract delay.
White was quoted as saying that he had attempted to speak with the association over the past three months regarding an extension, but did not succeed, the South China Morning Post said.
White and his staff are happy working in Taiwan, the newspaper quoted a member of White’s staff as saying.
“Because of association politics, we have not gained the respect that we deserve and the support that we need,” the staff member said. “We feel sorry about this.”
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