Lee Sang-min (Seongnam FC), who has a history of drunk driving offenses, has been excluded from the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games football team, and it is unlikely that a replacement will be found. The decision is up to the Korean Sports Ministry, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee.
The Korean Football Association dropped Lee from its Asian Games squad on Aug. 18, saying it was unaware of his DUI punishment.
Lee was caught driving under the influence of alcohol in May 2020, and on August 5 of that year, he was fined 5 million won for violating the Road Traffic Act. As a result, he was ineligible to represent the national team under the rules of the Korea Football Association as well as the Korean Sports Federation.
Article 17 of the KFA’s National Football Team Operating Regulations states that a person who has been sentenced to a fine of more than 5 million won for an act related to drunk driving and whose sentence has not been finalized for three years is ineligible to play for the national team. The same is true for the Korean National Team Selection and Operation Regulations. Therefore, Lee Sang-min was not eligible to be selected for the national team until August 4.
However, the KFA first selected him for the U-22 national team in September 2021 and has continued to select him for the U-23 and U-24 national teams since then. Unaware of Lee’s punishment, the KFA admitted its mistake and removed him from the roster 18 days later.
The problem is that the national soccer roster, including Lee, as well as the rosters for other sports, had already been handed over to the Asian Olympic Committee. The team should have been able to find a replacement beforehand, but after the roster was handed over to the Asian Olympic Committee, the late exclusion of Lee made it impossible to replace him.
The Asian Olympic Committee only allows roster changes in cases of injury and illness.
The KFA has reportedly requested that the KOC allow them to select a replacement. The KOC has already informed the KFA of the reasons why the roster cannot be changed. However, there is still a possibility that the KFA could ask the Asian Olympic Committee or the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee for permission to change the roster.
Without a replacement for Lee Sang-min, Hwang will have to rely on Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden, Germany), Lee Jae-ik (Seoul Eland), Lee Han-beom (FC Seoul), Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Hwang Jae-won (Daegu FC), and Choi Joon (Busan I-Park) in defense.
Hwang’s roster has been criticized for being heavily weighted toward offense over defense. If the defense is not strong enough and there are injuries during the tournament, it is possible that the defensive anxiety will increase. 안전놀이터