DUI arrest three years ago, warning letter to club… Serious disciplinary power
South Korea’s men’s soccer team for the Hangzhou Asian Games in September is facing controversy with the inclusion of Lee Sang-min (23-Seongnam FC), who was previously suspended for drunk driving.
On Thursday, national team coach Hwang Sun-hong announced the final 22-man roster for the Asian Games. Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Hong Hyun-seok (Gent), and Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden) were among the overseas players named.
This was complemented by domestic players with senior national team experience, including Song Min-gyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai), and Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon Commerce).
Catching and covering up a DUI three years ago… Disciplined with a ’15-game suspension’
Coach Hwang Seon-hong said he had assembled an elite squad and expected to win gold, but controversy erupted from an unexpected source. He selected defender Lee Sang-min, who had been caught by police driving under the influence of alcohol.
A former youth national team player, Lee made his professional debut with much fanfare, but in May 2020, while playing for Chungnam Asan in the K League 2, he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
He didn’t report the incident to the club until three games later, which escalated the situation. At the time, the KFA suspended him for 15 official matches and fined him KRW4 million.
Since moving to Seongnam this season, Lee has been a regular on the pitch and has caught the eye of head coach Hwang Sun-hong at the U-23 Asian Cup. His “multi-player” ability to play both defense and midfield in a volatile international tournament seems to have been highly regarded.
South Korea is coming off a strong gold medal performance. If he wins gold again, he will be eligible for military service. In past tournaments, Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), and Kim Min-jae (Napoli) have benefited.카지노사이트
Should grades come first? The recurring ‘national team eligibility’ debate
But as important as the gold medal is, the controversy over whether an athlete who drove drunk and covered it up should be allowed to represent the country and receive military benefits.
This is not the first controversy about the “eligibility” of the national team. Just a month ago, national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann came under fire for calling up Park Yong-woo (Ulsan Hyundai) for an A-match after he was disciplined for racist remarks.
In a different sport, the national baseball team, which participated in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, also caused a stir when it was revealed that some players had been drinking alcohol during the tournament.
As a result, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) drastically increased the penalties for players’ misbehavior at its board meeting on March 12, stipulating that players could be banned from participating in the national team for a year or more, as well as losing points for awards.
In the meantime, Hwang Sun-hong has been raising eyebrows among soccer fans by selecting players with a history of drunk driving and concealment.