South Korea drop Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young

17 May 2012 08:47

South Korea on Thursday dropped Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young for next month's World Cup qualification games, amid controversy over his move to delay military service.

Park was not named in the squad for a friendly against Spain in Switzerland on May 30 or for the qualification games for the 2014 Brazil World Cup -- away to Qatar on June 8 and home to Lebanon on June 12.

The 26-year-old has come under fire for delaying his compulsory military service by obtaining a 10-year residency visa for Monaco last year, when he played for AS Monaco.

South Korean football authorities had urged him to explain his position publicly on the controversy before the squad was announced on Thursday.

"I think he should publicise his thoughts clearly," coach Choi Kang-Hee told journalists after revealing the 26-player list.

"A national team must take into account not only an individual player's capability but the atmosphere of the whole team."

Choi said he had agonised over what to do with Park.

"What is important is whether a player is willing to sacrifice for the team and whether he has pride in his team," Choi said.

The former national skipper had a lacklustre first season at Arsenal, managing just six appearances since his move to London last August, but he remains one of South Korea's most influential players.

Allegations of draft-dodging are a sensitive topic in South Korea, where most men must undergo two years in the military.

Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung, who has retired from international football, expressed regret at Chu-Young's exclusion. "The national team has lost an excellent player," he told reporters.

Choi brought in 12 new faces -- including two forwards, Hamburg's Son Heung-Min and Sunderland's Ji Dong-Won, and defender Park Joo-Ho of FC Basel -- to inject fresh blood into the team.


Goalkeepers: Kim Young-Kwang (Ulsan Hyundai), Jung Sung-Ryong (Suwon Samsung), Kim Ji-Hyeon (Cerezo Osaka/JPN)

Defenders: Kwak Tae-Hwi (Ulsan Hyundai), Choi Hyo-Jin (Sangju Sangmu), Cho Yong-Hyung (Al-Rayyan/QAT), Oh Beom-Seok (Suwon Samsung), Cho Byung-Kuk (Jubilo Iwata/JPN), Lee Jung-Soo (Al-Sadd/QAT), Park Joo-Ho (FC Basel/SUI), Kim Young-Kwon (Omiya Ardija/JPN)

Midfielders: Kim Jae-Sung (Sangju Sangmu), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cerezo Osaka/JPN), Park Hyun-Bem (Suwon Samsung), Kim Jung-Woo (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Koo Ja-Cheol (Augsburg/GER), Kim Do-Heon (National Police Agency), Kim Chi-Woo (Sangju Sangmu), Yeom Ki-Hun (National Police Agency), Ki Sung-Yueng (Celtic/SCO), Lee Keun-Ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Nam Tae-Hee (Lekhwiya SC/QAT)

Forwards: Son Heung-Min (Hamburg SV/GER), Ji Dong-Won (Sunderland/ENG), Lee Dong-Gook (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Kim Shin-Wook (Ulsan Hyundai)

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 0 1 0 0 1
Panama 0 1 0 0 1
Tunisa 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0
Last updated : 16:48