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Lee Kwang-jong, Olympic coach, dies of cancer at 52

Lee Kwang-jong, former Olympic football team head coach, died of leukemia on Monday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said that day the coach had been admitted to the intensive care unit recently and was under treatment but passed away early on Monday at the age of 52.

Lee led the U-23 Korean squad during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games to take the country’s first gold medal in 28 years. He was named as the Rio Olympics head coach once more but came down with an acute case of leukemia early last year and stepped down from the post for treatment.

The former Suwon Samsung Bluewings man started his career as youth coach in 2000 to oversee the youth program launched by the KFA. Coaching the U-15 team in 2003, Lee oversaw the youth teams at every level, including the U-17 and U-20. He led the Korean U-17 team to the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009. Two years later, the coach led Korea to the round of 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and in 2012, he took his first title in an international event at the AFC U-19 Championship.

“He started to receive treatment for the illness before I came aboard so I do not know him well but I do know that he has dedicated himself for the betterment of Korean football,” said Uli Stielike before announcing the roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. “I offer my sincere condolences.”

By Choi Hyung-Jo

Abu Dhabi money lifts up Manchester’s women’s team

MANCHESTER, England - Manchester City can now add English soccer’s top women’s prize to its list of achievements since the club was transformed by an influx of Abu Dhabi investment.

City secured its first Women’s Super League title on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea, dethroning the Russian-owned London club.

City gained entry to the top flight only three years ago after the club committed to funding in order to strengthen the women’s team, including signing England internationals like Toni Duggan and Jill Scott.

“The girls have made so many sacrifices to make sure we won this,” Scott said. “It’s been a long journey over three years but it’s fantastic to finally win this trophy.”

Sunday’s game was played in front of more than 4,000 fans on the campus next to the Etihad Stadium which was funded by Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family who bought City in 2008.

The initial investment in the men’s team saw City win the English top flight for the first time in the Premier League era in 2012. Pep Guardiola’s men have started the season with 10 wins out of 10 in all competitions.

While City is competing with Manchester United for the Premier League title, the crosstown rivals can’t challenge for silverware in women’s soccer. United has resisted calls to launch a women’s team.

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