There is reportedly no benefit of military exemption even for the Korean national soccer team, who advanced to the round of 16 for the 1st time in 12 years.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by coach Paulo Bento, succeeded in advancing to the round of 16 for the first time in 12 years following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
A question has arisen here. In the case of the Olympics or Asian Games, there is a provision of military exemption for athletes who have achieved excellent results. If so, can players of the national team be exempted from military service if they perform well in the World Cup?
It has been reported that the national team players participating in the 2022 Qatar World Cup cannot be exempt from military service regardless of their achievements.
On December 5th, Money Today reported that the Military Manpower Administration decided that special military service (alternative service) would not be granted even if the national team won the World Cup.
In 2002, the Military Manpower Administration newly established a provision for special military service for “World Cup soccer players ranked 16th or higher”. However, in 2008, the World Cup clause was removed from the Military Service Act and the Enforcement Decree of the Military Service Act, due to public opinion that it was an excessive exception.
In this regard, an insider said, “There is currently no review related to the World Cup special cases. As for public sentiment, in the case of BTS, (military exemption) does not work. It is a difficult area to judge,” drawing a line on the possibility of expanding the exceptions for military exemption.
Currently, the Military Manpower Administration’s standards for sports personnel exist when they achieve 3rd place or higher in the Olympics or 1st place in the Asian Games. In the past, World Cup football rankings of 16th place or higher and WBC (World Baseball Classic) rankings of 4th place or higher were included, but were deleted on Jan 1st, 2008.
Fortunately, “Sonsational” Son Heung Min, who is currently playing a key role in the national team, as well as Kim Min Jae, Hwang In Beom, Hwang Ui Jo and more won the gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games to solve the military service problem.
Meanwhile, the Asian Games, which can solve the military service problem, was scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China last September, but was postponed due to COVID-19.
Because of this, the tournament will be held on Sep 23rd next year.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has already announced the postponement of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
However, if the unstable situation in China continues, the worst case of returning the hosting right should be considered. Of course, the best scenario is that the lockdown is not implemented and the tournament will proceed normally next year.