Former national coach Karl-Heinz Weigang dies

Karl-Heinz-WeigangPETALING JAYA: Karl-Heinz Weigang, the man who coached the national team in the famous win over South Korea in an Olympic qualifier in 1980, has passed away. He was 81.

The Perak FA’s official twitter account posted a message announcing his death this afternoon.

Weigang had last year returned to the spotlight with the release of the local movie, Ola Bola, which was loosely based on that historic win in 1980, which helped Malaysia to qualify for the 1980 Olympic Games.

The movie event brought together most of the players and Weigang for the first time in decades, and introduced a new generation of Malaysian football fans to his achievement.

Weigang then returned to active coaching duties with Perak in May last year. He had also been Perak coach in the 1990s, helping the state win the Malaysia Cup in 1998 and 2000. Weigang was also named a technical adviser by the Perak FA in 2014.

His second stint with Perak, in the middle of the previous Malaysia Super League season, saw him guiding the team from the 10th position to finish sixth by the end of the season. He had famously promised Perak fans that he would not let the team be relegated.

The Perak FA had initially appointed Weigang as head coach as part of their three-year development plan for football in the state.

However, his time with Perak ended suddenly in February this year, with the state letting him go, though no reason was given.

On the international front, aside from Malaysia, Weigang had also coached Vietnam, Mali and Ghana. His first stint as a national coach was with Sri Lanka in 1964.

Weigang was born in Germany on Aug 24, 1935.