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Wed, July 19, 2023

South Korean FA apologies for picking player who is ineligible due to a drunk driving conviction

South Korean FA apologies for picking player who is ineligible due to a drunk driving conviction

The South Korean Football Association (KFA) has apologised after selecting Lee Sang-min in the Asian Games squad, despite the defender being ineligible due to a drunk driving conviction. 

Lee was caught driving under the influence in May 2020 and fined 5 million won on 5 August of the same year. Under KFA regulations any player find 5 million won ($3,900) or more will be ineligible for a period of three years and as the fine has handed down in August 2020 Lee will remain ineligible until August 2023. 

A KFA statement said “The KFA humbly acknowledges that in the selection process for the Asian Games national team players announced on (July) 14th, they selected players who did not conform to the national football team operating regulations. (We) will do our best to prevent similar situations from recurring through future administrative system maintenance.”

Despite the organization’s own rules, Lee was called up for the U-22 squad in 2021, the U-23 squad in 2022 and the U-24 team — the Asiad squad — this year. The 2021 and 2022 call up passed without notice, with the KFA claiming this week that it was only recently made aware of Lee's criminal record.

The KFA apologized for failing to check Lee’s criminal record properly, blaming the fact that he had played mainly in the K League 2 where players are less well-known.

The Asian Games run 23 Sept 2023 – 8 Oct 2023. 

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