Tottenham demand Heung-min Son misses South Korea fixtures in exchange for Asian Games appearance

Tottenham demanded Heung-min Son missed a host of South Korea matches in exchange for his appearance at this month’s Asian Games.

The Korea Football Association said Spurs agreed to release Son for the football tournament only in exchange for him skipping two friendlies in November and the first two group matches at the Asian Cup in the UAE in January.

Spurs had no obligation to release Son for the event in Indonesia because it is an Under-23 tournament and not part of FIFA’s official calendar.

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However, the forward can gain exemption from his country’s military service — mandatory for all-able bodied males before the age of 28 — if South Korea successfully defend their gold medal. Spurs have therefore decided the 26-year-old will fly out to Indonesia after their Premier League opener, against Newcastle on August 11.

Son will miss games against Fulham, Manchester United and Watford if South Korea end up reaching the final on September 1.

According to the KFA, Spurs offered to release Son after the Fulham match, on August 18, which effectively ruled him out of the group stage.

The club eventually relented but, in a concession, the KFA said Son would not be called up for their friendlies in November and Asian Cup games against the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan, on January 7 and 11 respectively.

Son has apologised to the club over his inclusion for the Asian Games. “I feel sorry because Tottenham is my team and I feel very sorry for my team-mates and coaching staff,” he said.