Brentford defender Kim Ji-soo cut from South Korean squad before Olympic qualifiers

Seoul, Brentford FC defender Kim Ji-soo will not play for South Korea at the upcoming Olympic men’s football qualifiers in Qatar due to his club commitments, the national football federation announced Monday, the latest blow to the country’s pursuit o…


Seoul, Brentford FC defender Kim Ji-soo will not play for South Korea at the upcoming Olympic men’s football qualifiers in Qatar due to his club commitments, the national football federation announced Monday, the latest blow to the country’s pursuit of a ticket to Paris.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Brentford decided not to release their 19-year-old defender for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup, citing club-related reasons. Head coach Hwang Sun-hong selected Pohang Steelers midfielder Kim Dong-jin as a replacement.

Hwang’s team traveled to Dubai last Friday to set up a training camp, and they’re scheduled to travel to Qatar on Wednesday. The U-23 Asian Cup, which doubles as the AFC qualifiers for the Paris Olympics, will kick off next Monday.

Kim Ji-soo, who doesn’t turn 20 until Christmas Eve, would have been South Korea’s youngest player at the AFC event. He has appeared in three matches for the U-23 national team and earned a callup to t
he senior national team for the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year in Qatar, though he didn’t see any action.

Kim had been one of five players based in foreign leagues selected. However, clubs aren’t obliged to release their international players for this AFC tournament, which isn’t on the FIFA international match calendar.

Scottish champions Celtic FC informed the KFA that they would not send forward Yang Hyun-jun to Qatar. Brentford will keep Kim Ji-soo in England.

Dsseldorf forward Kim Min-woo joined the South Korean squad in Dubai. Bae Jun-ho of Stoke City and Jeong Sang-bin of Minnesota United have yet to report to the national team.

At the AFC tournament, South Korea will play in Group B against the United Arab Emirates, China and Japan.

The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals, and the top three nations will book their spots in the Olympics. The fourth-place team will face Guinea in an intercontinental playoff.

South Korea has played at every Olympic men’s foo
tball tournament since the under-23 age limit was put in place in 1992.

Source:Bahrain News Agency