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Spurs’ Son named Olympic ambassador for Gangwon

Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min on Friday was named honorary ambassador for his hometown province in Korea that will host the Winter Olympics next year.

The Gangwon Provincial Government said Son will help its efforts to raise awareness of the region and promote the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games after appointing the footballer as its honorary ambassador. Son is a native of Chuncheon, Gangwon, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Seoul.

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for Feb. 9 to 25 in Pyeongchang County, about 180 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, and the adjacent sub-host cities of Gangneung and Jeongseon.

Son is currently working to recover from a right forearm injury that he suffered in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifier against Qatar last month.

Son enjoyed his most successful English Premier League season since he signed with the Spurs in 2015. In the Premier League, he netted 14 goals, 13th best in the league, in addition to six assists.

Overall, he netted 21 goals in all competitions during the 2016-2017 season, breaking the single-season scoring record for a Korean in Europe, previously held by Cha Bum-kun, who had 19 goals for the German outfit Bayer Leverkusen in the 1985-1986 season.

Son was also named the Premier League’s Player of the Month twice, and the Spurs finished second in the 20-team league while leading the competition with 86 goals.


Korea falls off the top 50 in FIFA after poor performance

Korea dropped out of the top 50 in the FIFA rankings for the first time since June 2016, following the national football team’s recent mediocre performances.

According to the July ranking unveiled by FIFA on Thursday (Korean time), Korea slipped eight spots to No. 51 with 662 points. The country now trails three Asian Football Confederation members in FIFA rankings: Iran (23rd), Australia (45th) and Japan (46th).

This is the first time in a year that Korea failed to finish under No. 50 mark. Korea began 2017 at No. 37.

Korea failed to add ranking points last month as the Taeguk Warriors fell 3-2 to Qatar in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and played to a scoreless draw with Iraq in a friendly match.

Meanwhile, Germany took No. 1 from Brazil after moving two spots up. Argentina was No. 3, followed by Portugal and Switzerland.

FIFA rankings are based on the average number of points that a team accumulates over a four-year period. The ranking points in each match are determined by its result, value and relative strength of the opponent and their confederation. The system also has a yearly basis depreciation for the value of the matches.

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