When South Korea’s football roster was released, the selection of Song Joon-ho despite being detained in China put him out of the spotlight for a moment from Premier League star Heung-min Son.
Song Junho, who played for Shandong Taishan and won the 2021 Chinese Championship with his Jinan-based club, has been detained by Chinese authorities for almost four weeks since being detained at Shanghai airport last month.
Nevertheless, he was selected by South Korea head coach Jürgen Klinsmann this week for two international friendlies against Peru and El Salvador on June 16 and 20.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Son, who represented South Korea at last year’s Qatar World Cup, was under investigation for bribery.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported last month that the bribery allegations involved match-fixing involving director Hao Wei.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the lack of clarity, Klinsmann summoned him to an international mission.
“We don’t know his mental or physical condition, but I think it’s important to show support for Juno so that he feels we’re right there with him,” Klinsmann said. said. Seoul on Monday. “Obviously we are all shocked by this situation. We sincerely hope and pray that he will be released. But it is not in our hands. What He’s on the list in case something happens.”
Former US head coach Klinsmann, who joined the South Korean national team in February, chose him for the first two games against Colombia and Uruguay in March.
But Klinsmann doubts the national team’s ability to take on duties, adding that the team has room for flexibility.
“The roster we see today may be different than the roster you see next week,” he said. “It’s an open situation.”
According to Chinese reports, Sun will become the first foreign player caught up in Beijing’s latest attempt to wipe out the highest level of Chinese football.
Chinese football has struggled for years to shake off its reputation for corruption among coaches, team owners, players, referees and government sports officials.
More than a dozen celebrities, including former men’s national team coach Lee Tiye, have been arrested on corruption charges.
After seven seasons with South Korea’s Pohang Steelers and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Song joined Shandong Taisan in 2021 on a four-year deal.