South Korea football coach Hong resigns
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea football coach Hong Myung-bo resigned Thursday as he took responsibility for his team's disappointing performance at the World Cup in Brazil.
Hong has faced mounting criticism after South Korea was eliminated from the World Cup by finishing last in the four-team Group H. South Korea was defeated 1-0 by Belgium, 4-2 by Algeria and a drew 1-1 with Russia.
Hong told a televised news conference that he feels "deeply sorry" for the results.
"We talked about giving hopes to our people. But we eventually failed to give hopes and only gave disappointment," Hong said. "I'm leaving from the post today."
Hong said he first thought about quitting after his team's loss to Algeria.
His resignation comes as something of a surprise after South Korea's football association said last week it would retain him as the national team coach. After Hong's resignation announcement, Korea Football Association President Chung Mong-Gyu told the same news conference that his association will try to find new coach as soon as possible.
Hong was captain of the South Korean team that made a dramatic run to the semifinals in 2002 when his country co-hosted the World Cup with Japan.
He also coached South Korea's Under-23 team to the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Updated July 9, 2014