“I have nothing to say”

Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), one of the central figures in the conflict between the national soccer team, which is drawing attention not only at home but also abroad, said, “I have nothing to say.”

“I’m not sure what I can tell you,” Seol Young-woo said after the first leg of the round of 16 of the 2023 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League between his team Ulsan HD and Japan’s Banpo Re Gofu at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan on the 15th.

Asked about Seol at a press conference earlier, Hong said, “I don’t have anything to say because I haven’t confirmed (if it’s related) yet.” Still, he said, “Now that I’m a national team player, I think I should bring higher morality and thoughts than before.”

Asked about Hong’s remarks, Seol Young-woo said, “I think soccer players are also important outside of soccer,” adding, “I’ve always worked with that kind of mind.”

In addition to Seol Young-woo, Ulsan also includes Kim Young-kwon and Cho Hyun-woo, who played together in Asian Cup matches. In response to the controversy, Kim Young-kwon said, “To be honest, I don’t think there is anything I can say. There are too many words now.” Cho Hyun-woo also said, “I didn’t see the situation in detail,” adding, “Wouldn’t it be right for the Korea Football Association to say it?”

Earlier, British daily The Sun reported that Son Heung-min (Tottenham)’s finger injury was dislocated due to conflict with junior player Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), not during a game or exercise.

Lee Kang-in, Seol Young-woo and Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), who finished dinner the day before the Asian Cup semifinal against Jordan, played table tennis loudly, and clashed against captain Son Heung-min, who tried to restrain it. After the incident, senior players reportedly visited manager Jurgen Klinsmann and asked for the exclusion of Lee Kang-in against Jordan.

In particular, the controversy intensified as three people, Lee Kang-in, Seol Young-woo and Jung Woo-young, were seen throwing water bottles ahead of the Asian Cup semifinal match the next day after the situation in question. The video is being quickly shared on online communities and social networking services (SNS) under the title “Lee Kang-in, Seol Young-woo, and Jung Woo-young the day after Son Heung-min’s finger fracture.”

In soccer, where team play is important, their actions are “clearly retrograde” and there are also a series of criticisms that “harm the team work.”

As the controversy grew, Lee Kang-in posted an apology on his Instagram story on the 14th, saying, “I should have taken the lead and followed my brothers’ words well, but I’m just sorry to show you a bad side to the soccer fans.” The article is currently gone due to the nature of the Instagram story, which is posted only for 24 hours.

Afterwards, as it was claimed that Lee Kang-in punched Son Heung-min in the face, he explained through his legal representative, “It is not true that Lee Kang-in threw a fist in Son Heung-min’s face when he grabbed Lee Kang-in’s neck.”


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