Croatian coach Dragan Skocic is the first to apply for the post. 

Croatian coach Dragan Skocic was the first to apply for the post. He was among the 25 best coaches in the world in 2021 and led the Iranian national team for two years. Of the 18 official matches led by Dragan Skocic, the team recorded 15 wins, one draw and only two losing games. However, the coach was fired by the Iranian Football Federation in July because he failed to help the team maintain the unbeaten circuit during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

If taking the job in Vietnam, Dragan Skocic’s salary would be more than US$1 million per year (including two assistants), which is twice the pay for Mr. Park.

Besides Skocic, it is said that Slaven Skelezic (former coach of Bayern Munich U17 team), Robert Prosinecki (former assistant to the head coach of the Croatian football squad, former coach of the Bosnian team, and former player of Barcelona and Real Madrid FCs) and Bozidar Bandovic (former head coach of Olympiakos and Buriram United FCs) are seeking to approach the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).

There are also Asian candidates. Among them is Korean Coach Gong Oh Kyun, who is the current coach of Vietnam’s U23 team. Gong Oh Kyun's contract with VFF is valid until March 2023, but the Korean coach can work with both teams as Mr. Park did. Other candidates are Korean Coach Shin Tae Yong and Thai coach Kiatisuk.

Some sources said that VFF is paying special attention to former Vietnam U19 coach Philippe Troussier. However, a high salary for this French coach may be an issue for VFF.

VFF leaders affirmed that the person to replace Mr. Park must meet strict criteria and have a good CV.

They said that after the 9th VFF congress on November 6, the search for a coach to replace Mr. Park will be carried out. The VFF will almost certainly sign at least a 2-year contract to prepare for long-term goals including the 2023 Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

After the AFF Cup 2022, Park Hang-seo will bid farewell to Vietnam on January 31, 2023. 

Dai Nam