August 14, 2014 11:35
Son Heung-min of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga will not be able to play in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in September.
"Leverkusen informed us that they cannot release Son for the Asian Games," the Korea Football Association said on Wednesday. "We re-requested that they partially allow him to play but Leverkusen declined, citing that they can't release a player for matches that are not included in the FIFA calendar."
Club teams are not obligated to let their players compete for national teams in international matches that are held outside FIFA's jurisdiction.
Son who is under 23 is eligible to play in the Asian Games. Last month when he came to Korea to play in a friendly between Leverkusen and FC Seoul, he said "I hope to have a chance to play in the Asian Games and win a gold medal."
A gold medal in the Asian Games means an exemption from mandatory military service in Korea.
However, Korea has not won gold in football since the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul.
Between Sep. 14 and Oct. 2, when the Asian Game's football matches take place, Leverkusen will play in a playoff with FC Copenhagen for the UEFA Champions' League. There are also five Bundesliga games to play during that time, making Leverkusen reluctant to release Son, who scored 12 goals last season.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com