Park Chu-young gets trip to the OlympicsArsenal forward Park Chu-young, in hot water for his decision to delay military conscription, was named to South Korea’s men’s Olympic football team on Friday.
Hong Myung-bo, head coach of the Olympic squad, announced the 18-man roster and selected the 26-year-old Park as one of his three “wild cards,” used on players over the Olympic roster age limit of 23.
Goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong, 27, and defensive back Kim Chang-soo, 26, were the other two wild card choices. Each country can select up to three veteran players for the Olympics.
Two rising stars who have excelled for the senior team also were named to Hong’s squad. Wingers Kim Bo-kyung, who netted two goals in Korea’s 3-0 win over Lebanon in a World Cup qualifier in June, and Koo Ja-cheol, who scored the other goal in the same game, will man the midfield.
Ki Sung-yueng, a Celtic FC midfielder in Scotland, and Ji Dong-won, the Premier Leaguer for Sunderland, are also on the team, having combined for 65 international contests. South Korea has been paired with Mexico, Switzerland and Gabon in Group B. It will be the country’s seventh-straight Olympic appearance and ninth overall.