The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) has decided to extend the contract of national team coach Kim Pan-gon until June 2018.

He will continue leading the team to prepare for the last match of the current round of  World Cup qualifiers next March, and the next round of the AFC Asian Cup – the pan-Asia national championship – to which the Hong Kong team has advanced.

Kim said that he was very happy about the extension, and that it was his greatest honour to coach the Hong Kong team. He thanked the board of directors of the HKFA for the recognition, and he said that he appreciated the support of the players, the clubs and the fans.

Kim Pan-gon
Kim Pan-gon.

He added that he will try his best in coaching the Hong Kong team.

Kim, originally from South Korea, moved to Hong Kong as a professional football player in 2000, joining several top tier teams. He moved back to South Korea after he retired from playing.

In 2008, he was appointed as the coach of Hong Kong club South China. He was also Hong Kong team coach until 2010, when he resigned due to illness.

After leading the team to its gold medal win in the 2009 East Asian Games, he uttered one of his famous lines: “When I coach Hong Kong, I really want to die for Hong Kong.”

He became Hong Kong team coach once again in 2012, and led Hong Kong to second place in Group C of the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers.

Recently, the HKFA was recognised as the Asian Football Association’s Developing Member Association of the Year.

The increase in the ranking of the Hong Kong national football team – which rose from 156 last year to 137 – and the formation of the Hong Kong Premier League both helped Hong Kong to win the award.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.