Tottenham's Son Heung-Min Avoids Miltary Duty After Asian Games Triumph

Posted September 02, 2018

Tottenham fans can will breathe a little easier after Son Heung-min avoided two years of national service when leading South Korea's U23 side to the Asian Games gold medal.

The 26-year-old Spurs forward and his South Korea teammates secured their exemptions with the 2-1 win in extra time over regional rivals Japan at Indonesia's Pakan Sari Stadium outside Jakarta Saturday night local time (Saturday morning ET). We all hope we can win. Bringing in gold meant automatic exclusion from mandatory enlistment duty, a law that also applies to South Korean sportsmen with medals won at the Olympic Games.

"I am really really, really grateful to them (supporters)".

More news: Pres. Trump Accuses Bruce, Nellie Ohr Of Colluding With Russia

The Asian Games is actually an Under-23 tournament, but Son captained the team as one of Korea's three permitted "senior" players.

South Korean law requires all able-bodied men to complete nearly two years of service in the nation's army, navy or air force. And when I see the people, the way they support me, I want to give something back. On the pitch and off the pitch.

Earlier at the same venue, a Lee Seung-woo brace powered South Korea into the final. I had so many messages from Spurs and the fans and it was great.

More news: ER star shot dead by police

Son was substituted seconds before the final whistle only to run back on the field in jubilation to celebrate the victory with his team mates.

A late response by Japan's Ayase Ueda caused jangling nerves but Korea held out and the 20 members of their squad are now spared otherwise compulsory military service on grounds of sporting excellence.

"I am so thankful to Tottenham because they let me go, normally it's not easy to do", Son said, dedicating his gold medal to his country. Hwang Ui-jo, who plays for Gamba Osaka in the J. League, also scored to raise his total to a tournament-best nine goals.

More news: Liverpool v Brighton: Likely line-ups for Premier League clash