Paris Saint-Germain have agreed to release key attacking midfielder Lee Kang-in so he can join South Korea during the group phase of the Asian Games next week, the country’s football association said Friday.
South Korea’s men’s football coach for the Games, Hwang Sun-hong, on Thursday expressed his frustration over the French champions’ failure to clarify when Lee would be available for the tournament in Hangzhou.
Lee joined PSG for 22 million euros ($23.5 million) in the summer from Mallorca but was ruled out last month for four weeks with a thigh injury, which he has now recovered from.
“After discussions, PSG and KFA reached an agreement on the night of September 14 that Lee Kang-in will be released for South Korea after (PSG’s) UEFA Champions League group stage match Tuesday,” the Korea Football Association said.
“Lee is then scheduled to leave France on Wednesday for Hangzhou, China to join the South Korean men’s Asian Games football team.”
PSG host Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, the same day that South Korea open their bid for a third straight Asian Games men’s football gold when they play Kuwait.
Lee, who has made 14 appearances for South Korea’s senior team, could be in Hangzhou in time for the group match on Thursday against Thailand but it is unlikely that he would play given the long flight. They face Bahrain on Sunday.
Football squads for the Games are restricted to under-24 players but they can also have three over-age players.
Son Heung-min spearheaded South Korea to gold in 2018 but the Tottenham Hotspur forward is not involved this time, putting even more onus on Lee.
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