Korea football news on Twitter shared a tweet saying that Tottenham Hotspur has already agreed to allow Son Heung-min to participate in the Asian Games which will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia between August 14th and September 2nd.
The Asian Games falls outside the official FIFA calendar so clubs are not required to release players for international duty, but with Son needing to return to South Korea soon to fulfil his obligation of completing mandatory national service; Spurs have therefore decided it is best to release him and will be hopeful South Korea win the competition.
If South Korea win, the players get an exemption from military service
If South Korea manage to win the Asian Games, then the players involved will get an exemption from military service, which is compulsory for all males in South Korea regardless if you are a celebrity or not. There have been a lot of controversies as some celebrities have done their best to avoid the draft but when it became known to the public they suffered a serious backlash.
If South Korea doesn’t win the Asian Games then Son will have to return to his home country to complete his military service, he will still play football though and join the army team Sangju Sanmuwho are the countries army team and currently play in the K League 1. If Son does end up joining the army team, you can expect their attendance to get a massive boost.
What are the Asian Games?
The Asian Games is a pan-Asian multi-sport event similar to the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. Most of the games played at the Asian Games are known or played in most parts of the world, but they also have some very Asian specific games such as Sepak takraw, Kabaddi and dragon boat racing.
Football is one of the sports to be played at the Asian Games but similar to the Olympics football it is currently a U23 competition with each squad allowed only three over-age players.
Why would Son get an exemption from military service in South Korea win?
Current conscription regulations stipulate that athletes who win medals in the Olympic Games or gold medals in the Asian Games are granted exemptions from military service. They are required to do four weeks of basic military training and engage in sports field for 42 months. After that, they are automatically placed on the reserve roster and are obligated to attend a few days of annual military training for six years. In practice, after athletes finish their four weeks of basic military training, they are able to continue their own sports career during the 34 months of duty.
Therefore everyone at Tottenham will be hoping that South Korea can win the Asian games so that Son can get an exemption and continue his career in the Premier League. If South Korea fail to win the football at the Asian Games then Spurs effectively will be forced to loan Son to the K-League for two seasons. We are sure Tottenham and their fans will be keeping a very close on the Asian Games.