Bayern won’t release Jeong for U-20 World Cup

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Bayern won’t release Jeong for U-20 World Cup

Bayern Munich’s Korean prospect Jeong Woo-yeong will not be available for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup due to club commitments, the sport’s national governing body said Sunday.

The KFA said that Bayern Munich declined to release the 19-year-old forward for the May 23 to June 15 youth tournament in Poland. Head coach Chung Jung-yong selected Jeju United defensive-back Lee Kyu-hyuk as a replacement. The KFA said Lee will join the team in Poland on Tuesday.

Jeong was selected on May 2 as one of five Europe-based players on the 21-man roster, alongside Valencia CF midfielder Lee Kang-in, Hamburger SV goalkeeper Choi Min-su, FC Liefering midfielder Kim Jung-min and Dinamo Zagreb defender Kim Hyun-woo.

Clubs aren’t obliged to make their players available for the U-20 World Cup.

Jeong has made two appearances with Bayern Munich this season and has spent the majority of the season with the reserve squad, Bayern Munich II, in the fourth-tier Regionalliga Bayern. He has netted 12 goals in 25 matches.

Bayern Munich II has won its division in the Regionalliga Bayern and qualified for the promotion playoffs, with a spot in the third-tier 3. Liga at stake.

The two-legged playoffs against VfL Wolfsburg II are scheduled for May 22 and May 26. Korea’s first Group F match against Portugal falls on May 25, followed by South Africa on May 28 and Argentina on May 31.

The KFA said it asked Bayern Munich to allow Jeong to play in at least one match for his national team but the German club refused.

With Lee Kyu-hyuk, Coach Chung elected to go with a defender rather than another forward in Jeong’s absence. Lee participated in the final training camp but didn’t survive the cut earlier this month. He competed at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship in 2018, which doubled as the Asian qualification event for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Korea will carry three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders and four forwards.

The team arrived in Poland last week. It beat New Zealand 7-6 in the penalty shootout of a tuneup match Saturday and will next face Ecuador on Friday in its final prep match.

There are six groups of four, and the top two teams from each group, plus the four best third-place teams, will advance to the round of 16.

This is the 22nd edition of FIFA’s signature youth tournament. Korea’s best performance came in 1983 in Mexico, in which it placed fourth.

Korea hosted the most recent U-20 World Cup in 2017 and was eliminated in the round of 16.

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