Tottenham's Heung-Min Son one game from military service exemption
By Sky Sports
Last Updated: 29/08/18 3:19pm
Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son has moved one game closer to a military service exemption, after helping South Korea reach the final at the Asian Games with a 3-1 win over Vietnam.
Under the country's strict rules, a two-year spell of compulsory military service can only be avoided for a South Korea international footballer if they are part of a side that either wins the gold medal at the Asian Games or claims a podium finish at the Olympics.
After trying and failing to achieve that feat at the 2016 Olympic Games and missing out on the 2014 Asian Games as former club Bayer Leverkusen refused to release him for the tournament, Son is now within one victory of securing his exemption.
Standing in his way are the winners of the second semi-final between Japan and United Arab Emirates in Indonesia.
Defeat in the final, and Son could be joining the list of South Korean nationals to have served in the military, although some of his fellow professionals have managed to avoid such a fate.
In 2012, former Arsenal striker Park Chu-young managed to postpone his military service by 10 years due to a Monaco residency he held, although that led to a public outcry and his dropping from the national side.
Park Ji-Sung - once of Manchester United - escaped his altogether as he was part of the South Korea side that was given special dispensation after they reached the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Newcastle midfielder Sung-yueng Ki won bronze in London 2012, something that saw his length of military service cut to just four weeks.