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02 September 2018, 02:58 | Tracey Rhodes
Son Heung-min to avoid military duty as South Korea win Asian Games
However, any member of a squad that either wins an Olympic medal or wins the Asian Games would earn the right to be exempt from carrying out the service - which explains why Son left Spurs to join his compatriots for the tournament in Indonesia.
Son Heung-min has won gold with South Korea at the Asian Games, making the Tottenham winger exempt from military service.
Spurs faced the prospect of losing Son for at least 21 months, with all South Korean men legally required to carry out military service before they reach the age of 28.
The 26-year-old featured in South Korea's 2-1 extra time victory on Saturday night as goals from Lee Seungwoo and Hwang Heechan saw them lift the trophy.
Son, who captained South Korea as one of the over-aged players in the under-23 competition, had a role in both goals. They have supported me so much and that means a lot to me.
A fabulous strike from Lee Seung-woo after some terrific work by Son Heung-min five minutes into extra-time after the two side were deadlocked in normal time, went some way to ensuring that Son and his teammates receive an exemption from military duty in their homeland.
Another assist from a free kick would put the Koreans up 2-0, Son finding Hwang Hee-Chan who headed home superbly.
For many of us, it's hard to comprehend what that must be like.
"I'm so grateful to Tottenham because they let me come here", grinned Son.
At the time his German Bundesliga club, Bayer Leverkusen, refused to release him - the tournament isn't officially recognized by Federation Internationale de Football Association, and clubs aren't obliged to release their stars.
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