Lee Kang-in named in South Korea squad despite Son Heung-min bust-up

By AFP   March 10, 2024 | 07:34 pm PT
Lee Kang-in named in South Korea squad despite Son Heung-min bust-up
Lee Kang-in holds a Paris Saint-Germain jersey. Photo courtesy of Paris Saint-Germain
Lee Kang-in was named in South Korea's squad on Monday for World Cup qualifiers this month despite a bust-up with skipper Son Heung-min at the Asian Cup.

Tottenham star Son was left with a dislocated finger after clashing with Paris Saint-Germain attacker Lee before South Korea's semi-final loss to Jordan in Qatar last month.

Lee subsequently apologized after Yonhap news agency said the 23-year-old had tried to punch Son. Lee's representatives have denied there was a punch.

Son later posted a picture on social media of the pair smiling and arm in arm, alongside a message urging fans to forgive Lee.

The conflict was reportedly triggered by younger players -- including Lee - rushing through their dinner so they could leave early and play table tennis.

This angered some of the older players, including Son, who wanted to honor a long-standing tradition that the pre-game dinner be a team-bonding experience, triggering the brawl.

Lee and Son both played in the 2-0 loss to Jordan, the latter with two of his fingers strapped together.

Both players were named in new interim coach Hwang Sun-hong's squad to face Thailand home and away in World Cup qualifiers on March 21 and 26.

Hwang was appointed last month to replace Jurgen Klinsmann, who was sacked after South Korea's Asian Cup exit.

Klinsmann, whose contract was due to run until after the 2026 World Cup, had promised to deliver South Korea's first Asian title in 64 years.

South Korea have made a perfect start to World Cup qualifying with wins over Singapore and China.

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