Since a couple questions we’ve gotten are more news questions, let’s go ahead and answer those now, and this post will get updated later with any other questions/responses.
Q: Are there any plans to change the conscription laws (mandatory military service) for Korean football players?
A: This was already answered in the comments, but just to repeat the answer is most definitely NO. And I (Jae) do want to really stress the NO. I understand that there are many people who want to see this issue change, but there’s ZERO appetite (politically) to bring this up now, and I don’t foresee that changing in the near future either given North Korea’s unpredictability under Kim Jung-Un and Japan’s decisions to continually rewrite their military history and allow their military to go overseas.
Problems with changing the conscription laws would deal with the issue of fairness – among both the athlete population and general population. If you give footballers the chance to delay/be exempt from duty to play in Europe, would that rule apply to other sports? Would baseball players be exempt if they go to MLB? Basketball players going to the NBA? What about the non-major sports? Korean golfers on the PGA? Swimmers, figure skaters, speed skaters, etc? Does it matter where in Europe they’re playing and how often? Does a player who goes to some small European team or one who signs but just sits on the bench deserve a deferment or exemption?
Perhaps the Israeli model is (as Roy has pointed out) a good starting point for Korea in the future. Where a committee can meet annually and award a certain number of athletes (not just footballers) a deferment so they can continue to pursue their athletic career. Each year current athletes’ status can be reviewed to determine if they are still worthy of their deferment or if it should be revoked.
Q: What’s the status on Park Chu-Young?
A: Same as it was. The Bursaspor rumor has faded a bit with time. There was a rumor on Twitter he was looking at A-League clubs, but nothing concrete has come from it.
Q: What’s going on with the coaching search? Heard it was down to 3?
A: Yes, new/returning chairman of the technical committee, Lee Yong-Soo, told media last week that they have narrowed their search, from an initial 47 down to 3 people (all foreigners). Various media outlets have speculated, based on the criteria stated by Lee, exactly who those three are (Lee won’t say). Names that have emerged are Bert van Marwijk, Raymond Domench, Glenn Hoddle, and Jorge Luis Pinto. Yes, that’s four, but all meet the KFA’s criteria. Van Marwijk seems to be the frontrunner, but that’s purely speculation.