Hwang joins FC Seoul for 3 months after Russian contract suspended
Midfielder Hwang In-beom will spend the next three months playing for FC Seoul in the K League 1 after his contract with Russian club Rubin Kazan was suspended in March following the invasion of Ukraine.
FC Seoul announced Tuesday that Hwang has signed a short-term contract with the club to play until the end of June. The specifics of the deal were not disclosed.
FIFA announced last month that, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, all foreign players and coaches at Russian teams now have the right to suspend their contracts until the end of June, although football's international governing body refused to agree on a more permanent solution.
The only Korean player affected by the announcement was Hwang, who plays for Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League. He was already in Korea to treat an injury when the announcement was made.
Hwang is expected to be fit enough to play by the end of this month or early next month, so he's likely to see at least six weeks of action with FC Seoul. The club could use the help — after seven games this season, FC Seoul sits in 11th place with one win, three draws and three losses.
If Hwang is eventually able to terminate his contract with Rubin Kazan — and if he chooses to do so — FC Seoul has also expressed interest in extended his contract through the rest of the K League season.
FIFPro, the largest football players' union in the world, has called for FIFA to allow players to fully terminate their existing contracts with Russian clubs, an option that would set Hwang free from any contractual obligations.
If FIFA does opt to follow FIFPro's request in the future, Hwang could choose to terminate his contract and look elsewhere — and FC Seoul likely wouldn't be his only option. He has experience in both the United States and Russian leagues and has been suggested in the past as a possible option for a number of top-flight clubs in western Europe, including in the Premier League.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]