South Korea were eliminated from the World Cup on Wednesday, but they still managed to exit the tournament on a high as they shocked Germany 2-0 to send the defending champions home from Russia.
The South Korean team is always playing for a bit extra at major tournaments. If they win a tournament, or medal at the Olympics, then they can receive an exemption from the mandatory military service in their homeland. The Asian Games this August present another opportunity for Son Heung-min and the other Korean players to earn that exemption.
Tottenham understand this, and they have reportedly agreed to allow Son to participate in the tournament.
Son Heung-min told the reporters at the airport that he has already reached an agreement with Tottenham to play in the Asian Games in August.— Steve Han • 한만성 (@RealSteveScores) June 29, 2018
This year’s Asian Games will take place in Indonesia. The soccer competition is set to last from August 14th until September 1st.
This likely means that Son will miss Tottenham games in August and September. Spurs’ Premier League season gets underway on August 11th in Newcastle. Son will also be due for a break after partaking in the Asian Games, so it could be well into the new season before we see him at full fitness for Spurs.
Tottenham will miss Sonny on the pitch, but this is one of those issues that transcends sport. The political situation on the Korean Peninsula is still a tense one. If Son were called for military service he would be required to serve two years. It would be such a shame if the best Asian footballer on the planet had his career stunted because of conscription.
They never really had a chance in Russia, but you have to think that South Korea would be one of the favorites for these Asian Games.
Here’s hoping the South Koreans can have a successful August so that Son Heung-min can play uninterrupted for Tottenham Hotspur for years to come.