July 01, 2021 12:05
The roster of the U-23 national football squad for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics has been finalized, and Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur has not been included.
Son was expected to be one of the three wild card entries over the age limit, but the team's manager Kim Hak-bum chose Hwang Ui-jo of FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Kwon Chang-hoon of Suwon Samsung and Kim Min-jae of Beijing Guoan as the wild cards in the final 18-member roster announced on Wednesday.
Hwang, who showed a stellar performance in France's Ligue 1 last season with 12 goals and three assists, is the striker for the national World Cup team as well. "Hwang was determined to play in the Olympics, so we persistently appealed to his club," Kim Hak-bum said.
The manager said he decided on the wild cards in terms of making up for the team's weaknesses and had to exclude Son, who played at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"We will focus on set pieces and working as a team in the time remaining. We'd like to surprise everyone [with some good play]," the coach said. The Olympic squad will face France in a friendly in Seoul on July 16 before flying to Tokyo the next day.
The other 15 members are Ahn Joon-soo, Jeong Seung-won, Jeong Tae-wuk, Kim Dong-hyun, Kim Jae-woo, Kim Jin-ya, Lee Dong-gyeong, Lee Dong-jun, Lee Kang-in, Lee You-hyeon, Seol Young-woo, Song Bum-keun, Song Min-kyu, Um Won-sang and Won Du-jae.
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