How letting Heung-min Son play at 2016 Olympics could see Tottenham Hotspur star exempt from military service

South Korea Crowd with flag banner

If South Korea were to finish in the top three at the competition Son would be exempt from military duty.

Tottenham Hotspur fans would not have been pleased to hear the news this week that South Korean forward Heung-min Son plans on playing for his nations under-23 side at this summer’s Olympics in Brazil.

Son is quoted as telling Ham&High: 

“Why not? It’s a very nice tournament and competition, and every player wants to go to play there.

“I’ve played in the World Cup and Asian Cup and I haven’t played in the Olympics. We’ll see what happens. We’re still waiting for the decision so I can’t say anything.”

Spurs fans will of course worry about their attacker missing the beginning of the season out in Brazil – with the competition running until the 20th August.

But while the fear of injury and just sheer absence will be frustrating for Tottenham fans there is one potentially massive benefit of Son playing at the Olympic games.

South Korea won bronze at the London games four years ago but Son decided not to take part in that edition of the Olympiad.

If he had done, he would now be exempt from military service with the South Korean armed forces.

Son, who would need to be selected as an overage player for the games, must complete two years mandatory military service before the age of 30.

If he heads to the Olympics and South Korea end up in the medal places, then Tottenham will never have to worry about Son heading off for two years.

It could be that letting him head to Rio this summer would be a wise decision from Tottenham.

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