South Koreans' squabble over bonusesPosted: Thursday July 04, 2002 1:49 AM
SEOUL (Reuters) -- South Korea's strong World Cup performance has sparked a squabble over player bonuses, a football association spokesman said on Thursday.
The co-hosts reached the semi-finals and the players are urging the Korea Football Association to pay all 23 members of the squad a 300 million won (U.S. $251,500) bonus. But the association plans to offer varied bonuses based on playing time.
"The KFA wants to stick with the previous system," the spokesman told Reuters, adding that the players had urged a change following the team's excellent performance.
South Korea had never advanced beyond the first round yet this year they finished in fourth place, better than any Asian side in the tournament's 72-year history.
He said that despite "a strong protest" from some players, a compromise was expected this week.
One possibility, suggested by some players, was for the squad to gather their bonuses and split the money equally, said the spokesman.
Under Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, South Korea beat Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain after failing to record a victory in five previous appearances in the World Cup finals.
Hiddink, whose contract ended after Saturday's third place play-off defeat by Turkey, said on Wednesday he would like to remain an adviser to South Korea as they prepare for the 2006 finals in Germany.
He said he was scheduled to meet Dutch side PSV Eindhoven next week about the possibilty of returning to coach his former club.
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