Spurs Son Asian Games conundrum

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

An article by Sky Sports had said Heung-Min Son wants to play at the Asian Games, according to South Korea’s U23 coach, which means he could miss the start of the Premier League season.

The final of the Games, which are being held in Indonesia, is on September 1st with the 2018/19 Premier League season kicking off on August 11th

He has scored 18 goals for Spurs this season,but he could soon see his career interrupted because all able-bodied South Korean males must serve 21 months in the military and Korean law states that the period of service must begin before the age of 27.

Exemptions are awarded to athletes who win a gold medal at the Asian Games, or an Olympic medal, and South Korea will be one of the favourites for the football title at the Games in Indonesia.

U23 coach Kim Hak-bum told Yonhap news: “Son has a strong will to compete at the Asian Games.But first, there’s the World Cup. I told Son to play well in Russia, before we meet at the Asian Games.”

The article goes on to say that Son, who could be selected as one of three overage wildcards, was refused permission by his former club team Bayer Leverkusen to play in the 2014 Asian Games when the South beat North Korea in the gold medal match.

The Asian Games soccer tournament is not on the official FIFA calendar so clubs are under no obligation to release players, but the article adds that Spurs may consider the possibility of giving Son the chance to earn an exemption.

Kim added “It’s a sensitive issue.
“I believe the Korea Football Association will handle this matter well. The men’s senior national team, the U23 team, the KFA and the player’s club should all work closely.”

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