Korean Olympic Football Roster Announced

Korean Olympic Football Roster Announced

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.

National football team manager Kim Hak-bum answers questions from reporters at a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. /Yonhap

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 Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai FC), Jeong Tae-wook (Daegu FC), Kim Jae-woo (Daegu FC), Won Du-jae (Ulsan Hyundai FC), Lee Dong-gyeong (Ulsan Hyundai FC), Kim Dong-hyun (Gangwon FC), Jeong Seung-won (Daegu FC), Lee Kang-in (Valencia CF), Song Min-kyu (Pohang Steelers), Um Won-sang (Gwangju FC), Lee Dong-jun (Ulsan Hyundai FC) and goalkeepers Lee You-hyeon (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) and Kim Jin-ya (FC Seoul).

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