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Spurs star Son Heung-min out of Korea’s Olympic soccer team

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Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean forward Son Heung-Min celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B soccer match between Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) and Tottenham Hotspur at the Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade, on November 6, 2019 (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min was not included in South Korea’s 18-man Olympic soccer team named on Wednesday, avoiding a possible club-versus-country dilemma.

Son’s new English Premier League campaign with Tottenham will kick off on Sunday 15 August against champion Manchester City, just a week after the Olympic final in Tokyo.

Hwang Ui-jo of FC Girondins de Bordeaux was named to the U-24 team as an adult player, while Valencia midfielder Lee Kang-in, the youngest member of the team at 20, can avoid military service by win an Olympic medal. .

South Korea requires all healthy men to serve for 18 months. But Olympic medalists or Asian Games gold medalists receive exemptions from the service.

South korea football

Song Min-kyu (C) of South Korea celebrates his goal with his teammate Son Heung-min (2L) during the Asian zone qualifying soccer match between South Korea and Lebanon for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, in Goyang on June 13, 2021. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Spurs forward Son was excused from an 18-month stint in the military after winning a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, as was Hwang, who scored 12 goals for Bordeaux this season. pass.

“I did not take into consideration the issue of military service,” said head coach Kim Hak-bum when naming his team.

“I just focused on finding the most competitive,” he told reporters. “We will aim for the best.”

The Taeguk Warriors won bronze in London 2012 and begin their quest for a second Olympic medal against New Zealand on July 22.

Romania and Honduras are also in Group B, with the top two teams from each of the four groups advancing to the quarterfinals.

Squad of South Korea

Goalkeepers: Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Ahn Joon-soo (Busan IPark)

Defenders: Lee You-hyeon (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Jeong Tae-wook (Daegu FC), Kim Jae-woo (Daegu FC), Kim Jin-ya (FC Seoul), Seol Young-woo (Ulsan FC), Kim Min -jae (Beijing Guoan)

Midfielders: Lee Kang-in (Valencia CF), Kim Dong-hyun (Gangwon FC), Won Du-jae (Ulsan FC), Lee Dong-gyeong (Ulsan FC), Jeong Seung-won (Daegu FC),

Forwards: Hwang Ui-jo (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Kwon Chang-hoon (Suwon Bluewings), Song Min-kyu (Pohang Steelers), Lee Dong-jun (Ulsan FC), Um Won-sang (Gwangju FC).

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