September 20 – Guus Hiddink and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) have parted ways, with Hao Wei now appointed to succeed the Dutchman at the helm of the U-23 team.
The Dutch coach had been in charge for a year of the U-23 team and tasked to lead China to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. Hao Wei is the former head coach of the Chinese women’s team.
The CFA will set up a four-member staff to lead China during the Olympic qualifiers. The statement said the new leadership was “in view of the previous inadequate preparations for the Chinese U-22 National Men’s Football Team” and was “in order to further strengthen team preparations and improve team building and management level.”
Hiddink qualified China for the AFC U-23 Championship top of group J on superior goal difference, defeating Laos and Philippines 5-0 and 8-0 respectively and drawing 2-2 with Malaysia. In a recent friendly China lost 2-0 to Vietnam and that defeat might well have forced a rethink at the CFA after a series of indifferent results under Hiddink.
The Dutchman had been appointed in September 2018 as head of China’s Olympic team. Italian veteran coach Marcelo Lippi leads the men’s senior team and he guided China to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup earlier this year. It had been expected he would be replaced after the Asian Cup but he remains in charge.
Hiddink previously coached PSV, Fenerbahce and Real Madrid. In 1998 he led the Netherlands to the semi-finals of the World Cup in France and he repeated the feat four years later with South Korea in the Far East.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1579779796labto1579779796ofdlr1579779796owedi1579779796sni@o1579779796fni1579779796