A former Fulham player Seol Ki-hyeon has joined the coaching crew of South Korea.

Seol was appointed to assist national team boss Uli Stielike. The Korea Football Association (KFA) made the announcement on Monday.

In 2002 Korea partnered with Japan to host the FIFA World Cup. Seol was part of the selected players that helped the hosts reach the semi finals. He particularly scored the equalizer when Korea played Italy in the Round of 16 stage. Ahn Jung-hwan added another – a golden goal that made it 2-1 – to see them through to their first semi final in the World Cup.

South Korea is battling for the chance to feature in Russia in 2018. They are second in Group A, behind leaders Iran with Uzbekistan following closely as they are just one point off. German Stielike has been helpful but the pressure is getting to the KFA as many are fearful that the Asian side might fail to qualify for the prestigious tournament.

The top two teams would earn automatic qualification spots while the third place team would have to appear in a CONCACAF/Asian playoff. Shin Tae-Yong took over the Under 20 side last year, leaving the post vacant. Technical director of the KFA Lee Yong-Soo said they searched the whole of Europe for a fitting coach but found none.

“We contacted several coaches from Europe but couldn’t agree conditions and since we couldn’t afford to spend more time looking we choose from a pool of domestic coaches.

“Having spent much of his career in Europe, Seol will be able to understand how a foreign manager works. He also brings a lot of football knowledge and experience to the table and this will be a big help to Stielike,” Yong-Soo added.

Seol has experience playing in Belgium and England.