Trouble before the tournament even started. The Korean Football Association (KFA) has made another mistake with its complacent administration.
On Thursday, the KFA announced its roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games in China this September. Interest was high as current A team members and future national team players like Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), and Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Gent) were facing military service.
However, the reaction to the KFA’s announcement of the list has been more lukewarm than expected. The list included some controversial players. Lee Sang-min (23, Seongnam FC), who had a drunk driving scandal, was included on the Hwangseonhong, sparking criticism even before the tournament.
It wasn’t something the coach should have covered up. He was in violation of the rules in the first place. Lee was caught driving under the influence in May 2020 and was fined 5 million won in August that year for violating the Road Traffic Act. According to Article 17 of the National Football Team Operating Regulations, “Any person who is sentenced to a fine of more than 5 million won for an act related to drunk driving, and the sentence has not been finalized for three years, shall not be eligible for the national team.
According to the rule, Lee was not allowed to wear the national team’s uniform until August 4, 2023. However, Lee had already been called up to the U-23 national team in September 2021 and October of the same year. He even played full time in two of the three qualifying matches.
A player who couldn’t play was already a key part of the squad. Lee Sang-min was the main defender in the Asian Cup qualifiers. In the first group game against Malaysia, he finished off Lee Kang-in’s corner kick with a header. He even wore the captain’s armband. He also started in defense against Uzbekistan and Thailand. It’s a good reason for coach Hwang Sun-hong to include him in his roster for the Asian Games.
It seems that he didn’t realize the problem until the Asian Games were almost upon us. While the coach may have analyzed the players after touring the leagues and Europe, only the national team management should have known the rules and availability before the roster was announced. The amateurishness of the KFA’s administration, which skipped the obvious steps, led to the farce of canceling a player’s selection at the last minute, almost two months before the tournament.
It was a case of picking up spilled water. As public opinion heated up, the KFA checked the availability of players on the already announced list. Four days after the list was announced, the KFA hastily withdrew Lee Sang-min’s selection.
They even came up with a lame excuse. The KFA, which oversees K1 through K9, said, “Lee Sang-min has been playing in the K League 2 since 2020 and was disciplined by the Korean Football Association for drunk driving. “Compared to K League 1 and A National Team players, neither league news nor player-related information is relatively well known to the outside world, so we were unable to properly review the relevant regulations regarding this fact at the time of the first selection in 2021,” the KFA said.
The KFA’s amateur administration is no stranger to problems. In March, it suffered a major measles outbreak. The KFA came under intense public scrutiny after it pardoned 100 footballers under disciplinary action. The surprise announcement, made an hour before an A-League match against Uruguay, was labeled a “fly-by-night”. It went down as one of the worst in the KFA’s history.
In response to the backlash, Chairman Chung Mong-kyu said, “I thought of communication as the biggest topic,” emphasizing the KFA’s complete overhaul in the wake of the miscommunication controversy. However, the president’s declaration turned out to be an embarrassing excuse. Less than half a year after the 100-person surprise amnesty, the organization has made another big mistake.
The KFA is no stranger to apologies. It explained that the drunken driver selection had made it aware of its administrative inexperience and problems. It promised to “prevent recurrence” and “take various measures. Even coach Hwang Sun-hong bowed his head, saying, “I deeply apologize for my carelessness in the player selection process. 메이저사이트
At a time when we should be expecting more from the players and their performances, the KFA is stirring up controversy once again.