Son Heung-min named in South Korea’s Asian Games squad
Son has been named in South Korea’s Asian Games squad meaning that he will miss the start of the Premier League season for Spurs, even though the Asian Games fall outside the standard FIFA international windows.
The reason for this has been well documented, if Son doesn’t win a gold medal at the Asian Games then he will have to return to South Korea and fulfil his military service requirements as dictated by South Korean law. No matter how famous you are, all men still have to complete the service, this doesn’t mean Tottenham’s star man will be running around the DMZ with an AK47 watching out for escapees. He will have to join either the army team Sangju Sangmu or the police team Asan Mugunghwa, he would play for them for close to two years while receiving military training.
Son and Tottenham will be hopeful South Korea can again become champions of the Asian Games because that would mean the winning team would be exempt from military service due to great sporting achievements. Failure to win would see a multimillion pound asset effectively be forced into a loan back to the K-League and it could even end Son’s Tottenham career by the time his service is complete because his place at Tottenham will be filled by someone else in his absence.
Kim Hak-bum unsure when Son will arrive
South Korea’s U23 manager is unsure when Son will arrive, this is because of the Asian Games falling outside of the FIFA international window. That means Tottenham don’t have to release Son by a set date and can release the player whenever they decide to, South Korea doesn’t really have much say on this matter.
When games fall outside of the FIFA window then the football associations have to come to an agreement with the clubs to allow the players to compete. Kim has said that the dialogue between the Korean Football Association (KFA) and Tottenham is still open as they are trying to arrange a date for their players to be released.
There is a similar scenario facing the South Korean manager in regards to Lee Seung-woo being released from Verona, and Hwang Hee-chan from Salzburg.
The KFA’s effective bargaining chip helps call-up European based players
The KFA has done well to call up some highly rated European based players, but they have a very effective bargaining chip to enter the negotiations between themselves and the clubs.
The carrot dangled in front of clubs is one where their players will get the chance to avoid military service if they manage to win the competition. Clubs will be overjoyed if their players can miss out on the draft, and we are sure the players would be overjoyed with that too.
South Korea is definitely going to be one of the big hitters at the Asian Games 2018 that will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia especially with the highly rated attacking European based trio spearheading their attack.