Hong Kong football coach Andersen quits after 'fantastic journey'

football29 May 2024 05:20| © AFP
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Jorn Andersen © Getty Images

Jorn Andersen, the Norwegian who took Hong Kong to their first Asian Cup finals in 56 years, quit as coach on Wednesday to take up an offer elsewhere.

The 61-year-old, whose colourful CV includes a stint as boss of North Korea, confirmed rumours of his departure at an emotional press conference in the southern Chinese territory.

"I have recently received an invitation from a club outside (Hong Kong) that presents an opportunity I simply cannot refuse," said Andersen, who had about a year left on his contract.

"It is with great regret that I now bid farewell to the Hong Kong football scene."

Local media speculated that Andersen could be off to a club in China.

The popular Andersen is credited with revitalising the Hong Kong team since taking charge in December 2021.

At the start of the year, they played at the Asian Cup for the first time since 1968.

They were the lowest-ranked team at the tournament in Qatar and lost all three games, but were competitive in defeats to the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Palestine.

"The past two-and-a-half years have been a fantastic journey," Andersen told reporters on Wednesday.

Assistant Wolfgang Luisser will take over for World Cup qualifiers against Iran on 6 June and Turkmenistan on 11 June.

Hong Kong are bottom of the group and cannot reach the 2026 World Cup.