English Premiership

Spurs get Son lifeline

2016-03-14 09:56
Son Heung-min (tottenhamhotspur.com)

Seoul - South Korean winger Son Heung-Min, who has struggled for a regular space with Premier League team Tottenham this season, has been left out of his national side's World Cup Qualifier later this month.

There was no place for Son in the 23-man squad named by Uli Stielike on Monday, although the German coach did include a number of other European-based players who have had similar problems getting enough match play in recent months.

South Korea hosts Lebanon on March 24 in Group G action in the second Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The team has already clinched top spot in the group - and advancement to the final round of regional qualification - with six wins out of six.

A scheduled qualifier with Kuwait on March 29 has been postponed indefinitely, with Kuwait still under FIFA sanctions, and the national side has set up a replacement friendly against Thailand in Bangkok.

Stielike said dropping Son was aimed at having the same player available for this year's summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

As the Olympic matches aren't part of FIFA's international match calendar, clubs aren't obligated to release players.

"We've asked Tottenham to make Son available for the Olympics as a wild card, and in exchange, we offered not to select him for matches in March," Stielike said.

"We hope they will give us a positive response," he added.

There was a call-up for Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-Yong, FC Porto forward Suk Hyun-Jun, as well as Kim Jin-Su of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Park Joo-Ho of Borussia Dortmund.

Stielike - who played 42 times for West Germany - has a contract taking him through to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He was appointed national coach in September, 2014, following the resignation of Hong Myung-Bo, who stepped down after South Korea's disappointing group-stage exit at the World Cup in Brazil.

Hong had been captain of the team that sent the entire nation into raptures with its unlikely journey to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup, which included victories over Portugal, Italy and Spain.

After that, however, the national side's fortunes went into steady decline. Hong and his squad were jeered on their return from Brazil last year.

Things have improved under Stielike and the squad's 2015 match record read 20 played and 16 wins, with three draws and just a single loss.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.