November 11, 2022 11:00
Korea's national football team manager Paulo Bento said Thursday he will include injured Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min in the roster for the FIFA World Cup, which is set to kick off in Qatar on Nov. 20.
Son recently underwent surgery for fractures around his left eye after sustaining a facial injury during a UEFA Champions League match last week.
At a press conference before the last pre-World Cup friendly against Iceland on Friday, Bento said he will make a decision on whether to field Son after checking his condition.
On Wednesday, Son expressed his desire to play in the World Cup on Instagram.
About the post, Bento said, "It's not a surprise at all," as Son has always been determined to play for his country. "We already had other moments where he was injured and he wanted to play."
"We should let him come and do what he should do. And after that, we have time to make the right decision and best decisions for all of us," he added.
Korea is playing Iceland in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province on Friday. Bento mostly called up players based in Korea for the match.
The following day, Bento will announce the final 26-man roster for the World Cup.
Asked if he has a plan B in case of Son's absence, he said, "This is a far future. It's not the moment [to announce another plan]."
Bento has made tactical changes with Son on the pitch but never planned for his absence.
Countries participating in the World Cup must submit their final rosters to FIFA by Nov. 14. Teams are allowed to replace players who are unable to compete due to injury or disease up to 24 hours before their first matches.
Korea will have its first group-stage match against Uruguay on Nov. 24.
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