“Follow the gold medal for sure”Why European soccer fans are paying attention to the match between Korea and Japan
European soccer fans are showing a lot of interest in the men’s soccer final between South Korea and Japan at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. There is a lot of interest in the outcome because overseas players will be exempted from military service if they win gold at the Asian Games.
The South Korean team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, will face Japan in the final on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China.무지개토토
Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Gent), and Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden) are among the players who are playing in Europe.
Lee’s club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), is anxiously awaiting the outcome of the match. On May 5, PSG posted a photo of Lee on its official X (formerly Twitter) account, saying, “The South Korean national team defeated Uzbekistan 2-1 in the semifinals to advance to the Asian Games final.” One PSG fan wrote, “This is a great result.
One PSG fan pointed out that “if Korea wins this time, Lee Kang-in will not have to serve two years in his country,” while another fan account posted a video of Lee’s game and cheered him on, saying, “I look forward to seeing him come back to PSG.”
On the same day, Belgian side KAA Gent, the club of star midfielder Hong Hyun-seok, shared the news on its official account that “South Korea beat Uzbekistan and will play Japan in the Asian Games final on Saturday”.
The post was met with comments such as “I want to see him continue playing instead of serving in the military,” “Korea should win this time,” and “Hurry up and get back to the club.”
In particular, local fans noted the special exemption from military service that comes with winning a gold medal. “If Korea loses in the final, all Korean players, including Lee Kang-in, will have to serve in the Korean military for 18 months,” and “If they win, they can avoid military service,” they wrote, referring to the cases of Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, and Hwang Hee-chan.
In Germany, local sports media have also made direct references to the Asian Games. Kicker, a German soccer publication, analyzed in an article titled “Jung Woo-young Leads Korea to Final, Why Stuttgart Wishes Him Good Luck,” that “when South Korea wins the final, the club also benefits.
“For Jung Woo-young, (winning the Asian Games) gives him a sense of accomplishment and confidence. In addition to the medal, the club and his teammates will be relieved if he is exempted from military service for winning the tournament.”