Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Tottenhams Son Heung-Min Avoids Compulsory Military Service With South Korean Gold Medal At Asian Games
Photo: Lee Jin-man (AP)

Here’s some happy news, especially for Tottenham fans and, uhh, the friends and family of members of South Korea’s national soccer team: Forward Son Heung-min, facing two years of compulsory service in the South Korean military, has earned an exemption via the only route available—a gold medal in this summer’s Asian Games.


The exemption goes for all members of the gold medal-winning squad, but this was a bit of an end run for Son: at 26 years old, he’s one of three over-age players in the otherwise under-23 competition, and this competition presented his final opportunity to snag the exemption before he turns 28, the age at which South Korean men age out of conscription. So it was either win gold this week or go directly into the military.

The final, played against Japan, was scoreless headed into the first extra period. But South Korea broke loose for a pair of goals in the first extra period, with Son having a hand in both goals:

Japan pulled one back in the second extra period, but South Korea held on to win, 2–1.

Staff Writer, Deadspin

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