Top managers have no shot at Coach of the Year titleEven if his Ulsan Hyundai FC takes the K League 1 professional football championship this year, head coach Kim Do-hoon won’t be considered for the top coaching prize at season’s end.
The K League unveiled finalists for major individual awards for the 2019 season on Tuesday, and conspicuous by absence was Kim in the Coach of the Year category in the top division.
Coaches for the championship clubs have typically won the award, and first-place Ulsan Hyundai is on the verge of denying Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors’ three-peat bid and winning its first K League title since 2005. With two matches remaining, Ulsan lead Jeonbuk by 78 points to 75 points.
But under new rules on award candidates, players or coaches who have received a fine of at least 6 million won ($5,140) or been suspended for at least five matches will not be eligible to receive individual awards for that season. The K League said these rules are to encourage the spirit of fair play and raise the prestige of awards.
Kim was fined 10 million won and received a three-match ban in August for arguing with a referee over a handball violation against an Ulsan player. He was ejected from that match, which resulted in an automatic two-match ban, and the league slapped on an additional three-game suspension.
Another potential Coach of the Year candidate, Kim Byung-soo of Gangwon FC, also wasn’t shortlisted for the award because of his 7-million-won fine he received in July for criticizing officials.
Gangwon FC has overachieved this season and currently sits in fifth place with 50 points.
For the Coach of the Year, Jose Morais of Jeonbuk, Andre Luiz Alves Santos of Daegu FC, Choi Yong-soo of FC Seoul and Kim Gi-dong of Pohang Steelers have been nominated.