SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The technical director and vice-president of the Korea Football Association has quit amid the national team's run of poor form and a controversy surrounding former coach Guus Hiddink.

South Korea qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia, but has been increasingly criticized by fans for winning only one competitive game in 2017.

Kim Ho-gon said he had to quit in the best interests of the KFA and the national team.

"I tried my best for football development and the national team's achievement, but many things were not satisfactory because of my lack of ability," Kim said in a statement released Thursday by the federation.

Hiddink, who led South Korea to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup which the country co-hosted with Japan, hinted in September that he would be interested in a return to Seoul in some coaching capacity.

Kim was accused of initially ignoring communication from Hiddink before publicly dismissing the possibility of the Dutchman's return.

In his statement, Kim, who guided K-League club Ulsan Horangi to the 2012 Asian Champions League title, called upon fans to get behind the team.

"There are going to be many barriers on South Korea's road to the World Cup, but with strong support from fans, I believe we can overcome the difficulties," Kim said.