Former nat’l volleyball coach to appeal 1-year suspension

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Former nat’l volleyball coach to appeal 1-year suspension

Former Korean men’s volleyball head coach Kim Ho-chul said Thursday he plans to appeal the one-year suspension against him for attempting to jump ship while still under contract with the national team.

Kim told Yonhap News Agency that while he wanted to apologize to volleyball fans for causing trouble, he wants the full truth to be revealed.

The Korea Volleyball Association (KVA) last Friday suspended Kim for one year for actively seeking a professional club coaching job, though he was under contract through 2022.

Kim was formally notified of the punishment on Tuesday, and he can submit his appeal to the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) within a week. Once the appeal is submitted, the KSOC must review it within 60 days.

Earlier this month, Kim approached a V-League pro team, OK Savings Bank, about their head coaching vacancy. It was initially reported that OK Savings Bank had offered Kim the coaching job and that Kim declined, citing his commitment to the national team. But the pro team later said Kim first came calling about the open position and that the team had another candidate at the top of its list.

Kim became the first full-time national team coach in February last year. Kim was signed through the 2022 Asian Games, and he was supposed to face a midterm review after the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The sticking point between Kim and the KVA is a clause in Kim’s contract that the two sides have interpreted differently.

The contract states that if Kim wanted to move to another coaching position during the period between the 2018 Asian Games and the 2020 Summer Olympics, Kim must hand back 50 percent of his annual salary.

Kim interpreted the clause literally, apparently willing to return half of his salary as long as he was allowed to leave the national team for another job. But the KVA countered that the clause was inserted only as a deterrent, and it was never meant to keep the door open for Kim to leave before his contract ran out.

“I’ve hit the rock bottom through all this, and I don’t think I can go any lower,” Kim said. “I’d like to restore at least a small bit of my dignity.”

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