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By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- Chong Mong-gyu, a business executive and a former head of the country's top pro football league, was inaugurated Thursday as the chief of the national football governing body, vowing to create a better and brighter future for new generations in the sport.
Chung was elected as the head of the Korea Football Association (KFA) in January. The chief executive of the construction firm Hyundai Development Co. had previously been the commissioner of the K League, which governs professional football in the country.
Starting his four-year tenure, Chung said he will try to do away with the old image of football.
"Our future starts by innovating our football culture," Chung said in his inauguration speech at a ceremony attended by about 100 football officials. "I will establish a new culture that is more accessible to the people. This will bring more people to stadiums and to television screens, and allow business corporations to find more opportunities through football."
Chung also vowed to expand football's infrastructure and create more opportunities for future generations to enjoy the game and learn life skills like cooperation and teamwork.
"Creating an environment where football is easily accessible is the investment we make for the future," he said. "In a better environment, children will learn the spirit of fair play, will grow stronger physically and will learn the value of sacrifice for the good of the community."
Hours before the inauguration ceremony Thursday, Chung named five new vice chairmen to his executive board.
Huh Jung-moo, a former national team head coach, was named the vice chairman to oversee football at high school, university, professional and national levels. Choi Soon-ho, a former national team striker and a head coach for two different first-division clubs, was appointed the vice chairman to handle the sport at elementary and middle school levels.
Chung selected three other vice chairmen with no prior playing experience. The KFA explained that Chung tried to appoint individuals who could make a "practical contribution" to the development of the sport, regardless of their playing background.
Yoo Dae-woo, a retired Army major general and currently the secretary general at the Association of the Republic of Korea Army, has been named the vice chairman in charge of external affairs. Kim Dong-dae, a long-time football administrator and currently the general manager for the first-division club Ulsan Hyundai Tigers, is the new vice chairman for international relations. Previously, Kim had been the head of the KFA's international relations committee from 2009 to 2012.
Richard Hill, chief executive of SC First Bank, will serve as the vice chairman for social contribution. Hill has been an outside director for the KFA since 2011, sponsoring youth football development programs, and is the first foreigner to be in a vice chairman position at the KFA.
Among other executive positions, Jung Hae-seong, a former national team assistant coach, has been named the head of the competitions committee, one of seven subcommittees under the KFA.
Kwak Young-chul, a former senior prosecutor, was tabbed as the head of the disciplinary committee. He had previously been the top disciplinary official for the K League.
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