“Thank you for the PSG decision”…did Lee’s sincere wish for ‘AG gold’ work?
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has made a bold choice for Lee Kang-in.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said on Friday, “As a result of discussions with PSG, Lee Kang-in’s club, it was finally agreed on Thursday night (July 14) that he will join the Asian Games squad after the club’s UEFA Champions League (UCL) home match against Dortmund on July 19. Accordingly, Lee will travel to Hangzhou, China, to join the Asian Games squad on Sept. 20 (local time),” the KFA officially announced.
The KFA continued, “After receiving an email from PSG on the 13th to allow Lee to participate in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, subject to the rescheduling of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, we held discussions with PSG until late on the night of the 14th. Finally, on the night of the 14th, we received an official response from PSG that allowed us to join the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games squad on the 20th without any other preconditions,” he said, explaining the background of the discussions with PSG.
While PSG may have been happy to let Lee go, his participation in the Asian Games was very uncertain until the afternoon of the 14th. Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach of the Asian Games team, had said that PSG would reply on the 13th local time about whether Lee Kang-in would join the Asian Games squad or not.
However, on the 14th, during an interview with the Asian Games team before training at the Paju NFC, Hwang’s face did not look good. It was because PSG hadn’t communicated a clear position.
He said, “It’s frustrating. I am personally communicating with Lee Kang-in. He wants to join as soon as possible. But the timing is not coordinated with PSG. The federation is in close communication with PSG. I hope that the timing will be decided soon so that he can focus on the team,” he said, adding that there is still no agreement on whether and when Lee will be called up.
Hwang added, “We still haven’t received an official answer on when he will join the team. It’s frustrating. We agreed to contact him on the 13th to see if his injury is fully recovered, but so far there is no official answer,” he said, adding that he still hasn’t received a clear answer on whether Lee Kang-in will be called up for the Asian Games.
At this point, it seems that PSG was pretty negative about sending Lee to the Asian Games. According to Hwang’s comments, PSG wanted an additional condition: they wanted to coordinate the player’s participation in the Asian Cup next January instead of sending him to the tournament. The situation seemed to get more difficult as PSG put forward terms that were not easily negotiable.
It must have been frustrating for Hwang Sun-hong as well, as the later Lee Kang-in joined the Asian Games squad, the more problems he would have with his teammates and team cohesion.
Then, in the early hours of the 15th, PSG made a dramatic change. Fabrizio Romano, a journalist familiar with European soccer news, reported on the 15th that “PSG has decided to give Lee Kang-in the green light to play in the Asian Games. PSG will make an announcement on Lee’s Asian Games case soon.”
After Romano’s report, an official statement from the KFA appeared. PSG decided to let Lee go after the Dortmund game without any conditions. The sudden change of position came less than 24 hours after Hwang Sun-hong had publicly expressed his difficulties. It was a very difficult decision for PSG.
It wasn’t the pre-tournament signing Hwang had hoped for, but PSG still decided to let Lee go in the middle of the group stage. It seems like a good move on the part of the club’s officials, including Lee.
Loic Tanji, a French reporter for L’Equipe who is well versed in PSG’s inner circle, covered the news of Lee’s departure from the Asian Games, saying, “The decision was made through a dialog between the player, his entourage, and the club. Lee’s representative said, ‘We were able to handle the situation in this way and we thank PSG for helping the player. Everyone is happy,'” the report said.
For Lee, the importance of this competition is huge. If he can win a gold medal and get a special exemption from military service, it will give him a lot of breathing room in his career. Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae, who are currently representing South Korea in Europe, were also granted special military service through their Asian Games gold medals, which allowed them to continue their careers in Europe’s big leagues and big clubs.
Lee Kang-in is also in a position where he needs to be granted an exemption to continue his career at PSG, as well as his future career in Europe. It appears that Lee has persuaded the club, and PSG has made a great decision for the future of the team. This is evidenced by the fact that PSG didn’t put any strings attached to the deal. 먹튀검증
However, it seems that Lee is still not 100% fit. PSG announced its roster for the fifth round of the 2023-24 French Ligue 1 season against OGC Nice at 4 a.m. on Saturday on its official website.
A total of 20 players were included in the roster, but Lee Kang-in’s name was nowhere to be found. It is believed that Lee has not fully recovered from his injury and is unlikely to play.
Lee has made some progress in recovering from his left quadriceps injury, which was announced on the 22nd of last month, and returned to team training this week. It was hoped that his recovery would be faster than expected and that he would be available for the match against Nice, but this was not the case.
Even if Lee is able to travel to Hangzhou, China, to join Hwang Sun-hong in the final match on Sept. 20, it remains to be seen if he will be available for the match against Bahrain on Sept. 24. If Lee is ruled out of the UCL match against Dortmund in midweek, it will be difficult for him to play right away in Hangzhou.
Still, Hwang Sun-hong will have to make do. This is not a one-man team for Lee Kang-in. There are many players who are good enough to make the national team. If you’re worried about getting out of the group stage because you don’t have an ace player, you shouldn’t even be talking about winning a gold medal.