South Korea and Son Heung-min are just one game away from a gold medal at the Asian Games. This will mean exemption from military service for the whole squad. Here is big news particularly for Son Heung-min and Tottenham as it will mean the English club will not lose their player for two years.
The Korean attacker openly admitted this week it's been hard to leave Spurs at the start of the season and has been keeping a close eye on his club from Jakarta.
Although the player did admit after getting through an extra time win with Uzbekistan on Monday he could not say up for his clubs impressive 3-0 win over Manchester United.
The player commented on the match “It was too late, it was two o’clock in the morning here so I was sleeping but I was very happy when I saw the result,”
“I was very happy about that and very proud of my teammates. I’m here but I’m still watching, so I was very happy.”
Son has played in five of the six matches during the Asia Games for South Korea. He did miss out on the clubs first game against Bahrain as he was still in London with his side. While now being very much match fit he knows it will be hard to get back in the Spurs side when he returns.
This will not be till the middle of September however, as he is set to join up with the senior national side next week for friendlies against Costa Rica and Chile.
“I’ve missed already three or four weeks and we have the international break before I will be back. I’m ready for that. Even when I don’t play I will be waiting for my chance. We’re one team and I have to be ready to play for my team. Of course, it’s a bit different with the weather and the humidity (at the Asian Games), and the pitches are also different, but I’ll be ready when I go back to Tottenham.”
This will be great news for all fans of Tottenham who I am sure will all be hoping South Korea pick up gold on Saturday.
The country will then go for gold against their rivals Japan and while Son was reluctant to talk too much about the prospect of winning a military exemption he was in no doubt as to the importance of rounding off the tournament with a win.
The players might not admit it but they are big favourites against a Japan side that are a lot less experienced. This like the Olympics is mostly an Under 23 tournament.
As Son was quoted saying “It’s a final,” said Son after the Koreans defeated Vietnam 3-1 to advance to the final on Wednesday.
“I can’t say anything but it’s very important. We’re already here in the final to win something, not just coming to the final just to play it."
Japan does not have any players who went with the country to the World Cup in their squad while South Korea has four who travelled to Russia in the summer.
Back to the subject of military service, the players will also avoid this by winning the Asian Cup in early 2019 or by winning Gold at the Olympics. These tasks are a lot more difficult and Son and co will know a gold on Saturday is the best chance they have of avoiding compulsory military service.