KIM Do-hoon will lead South Korea in World Cup qualifiers against Singapore and China in June after the Korean Football Association (KFA) failed to line up a permanent coach to replace Juergen Klinsmann in time.

German Klinsmann was sacked in February after his team crashed out in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup, failing to record a single shot on target in the 2-0 loss to Jordan despite having the likes of Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in in the team.

Under-23 coach Hwang Sun-hong led the senior side to a 1-1 draw and 3-0 win over Thailand in the last round of World Cup qualifiers in March and the KFA had hoped to announce a new permanent coach before the June fixtures.

“Negotiations to hire the new national team head coach are still ongoing and it’s possible that they won’t be finalised before the next matches in June,“ the KFA said in a statement on Monday.

“Our National Teams Committee met earlier today to discuss this scenario and decided to hire Kim Do-hoon as the interim coach to take charge of the two games in June.”

Former international striker Kim steered Ulsan Hyundai to the Asian Champions League title in 2020 and Lions City Sailors to the Singapore Premier League title in 2021.

The 53-year-old quit the Singapore club in August 2022 after being handed a three-match ban for headbutting the assistant coach of an opposing team.

South Korea, bidding for an 11th straight appearance at the World Cup finals, are three points clear of China at the top of Group C in the second round of qualifying for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

They visit Singapore on June 6 and host China in Seoul five days later in their last two matches of the round. The top two teams from each group go through to the third stage of qualifying.