From drunk driving to hiding power…Asian Games team ‘inappropriate’ for the Games

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Seongnam FC’s Lee Sang-min on board Hwang Sun-hong Ho
Covered up a DUI at Asan
Possibly violated national team rules in the first place

Lee Sang-min (23-Seongnam FC), who was caught by police driving under the influence of alcohol and was severely punished for hiding it, has been named to the Asian Games roster. It is inevitable that there will be controversy over whether or not a player who has caused such a social uproar deserves to compete in an international tournament with the Korean flag.

Born in 1999, Lee Sang-min was named to the 22-man roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games U-24 soccer team announced by head coach Hwang Sun-hong on Thursday. Lee has been steadily rising through the ranks since the inception of Hwang’s reign, eventually earning a spot on the Asian Games roster against stiff competition. He has one goal in six games under Hwang.

However, after the announcement of the final roster for the Asian Games, Lee’s history resurfaced, sparking controversy over his suitability for the Asian Games. Lee was caught driving under the influence of alcohol in 2020 while playing for Chungnam Asan. The fact that he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol alone should be enough to be condemned, but he didn’t immediately inform his club, instead sneaking out for three games and then later telling them about the cover-up.

After being informed by the club, the KFA held a punishment committee and handed down a 15-match suspension and a fine of 4 million won. At the time, Lee was in his first season as a professional after joining Ulsan Hyundai on loan from Chungnam Asan. In his first season, Lee only played four games in the K League 2.

The following year, Chungnam Asan bought him outright, which caused a lot of controversy in the local community, indicating that Lee’s history of drunk driving and concealment was a serious issue. The club even held an unusual press conference to explain the controversy. The club explained that they signed Lee because he had received all disciplinary actions from the federation and had shown remorse, including voluntary community service. Nevertheless, the controversy remained, with supporters boycotting the team.

Despite the controversy, Lee continued to be used by the team, and Hwang called him up for the 2021 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers and used him as a key defender. He even earned a spot on the roster for the Asian Games, giving him the opportunity to take advantage of “special military service” benefits in some cases.

However, it is inevitable that there will be controversy over whether it is appropriate for an athlete who has already admitted to driving under the influence and tried to cover it up to compete in the Asian Games. Furthermore, the Asian Games is an age-group competition, which means that most athletes can only compete once, and even then, many are not eligible. The issue is even more sensitive for athletes with unresolved military service. Amidst the controversy surrounding the reasons behind the exclusion of several athletes who did not make the final roster, it is inevitable that some will point out that it is not appropriate for a socially controversial athlete to wear the flag instead.

In the first place, it was against the rules of the Korean Football Association (KFA) from the time Hwang Sun-hong first boarded the ship in 2021. Article 17 of the KFA’s National Football Team Operating Regulations states that a player who is sentenced to a fine of more than 5 million won for an act related to drunk driving is ineligible to play for the national team for three years after the sentence is finalized, and for two years after the sentence is finalized for a fine of less than 5 million won. Lee was arrested for drunk driving on May 21, 2020, and played his first match for Hwangseon Hongho on October 25, 2021. Without a clear explanation from the KFA, this could turn into another controversy.카지노사이트

In particular, this issue is even more problematic because it could lead to the perception that it is possible to compete in international tournaments with the flag even if you drink and drive. Furthermore, it could set a precedent that it’s okay to hide a DUI and still represent your country. The KFA’s decision to select Hwang Sun-hong’s players, and the KFA’s inaction on the matter, has caused a lot of controversy, especially since drunk driving is a very serious social issue. Soccer fans are also outraged.

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