Son Heung-min-Ik Kang-in ‘Ping-Pong Gate’ sealed only appointment of new commander left to be made

함께한 손흥민과 이강인

The ‘Ping Ponggate’ scandal that shook the Korean soccer world is being resolved faster than expected. The “new and old aces” of Korean soccer, who are at the center of the scandal, posted one after another on social media on Jan. 21 (KST).Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) first bowed his head, saying, “I did something I should never have done,” and Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) embraced his junior, saying, “Please forgive me with a generous heart once.” Lee posted a black screen without a photo. Son Heung-min posted a photo of himself and Lee smiling together. Table tennis gate broke out on April 14, barely a day after South Korea’s 0-2 semifinal loss to Jordan at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar. Many fans were shocked that the innocent-looking Lee Kang-in, who they had watched on TV since childhood, had not only disobeyed the instructions of his “captain,” Son Heung-min, who is nine years his senior, but had also physically “confronted” him.

Lee immediately posted an apology on Instagram’s Stories, but the level and manner of the post was not enough to melt the frozen hearts of his fans. Stories are posts that disappear after a certain amount of time. Lee’s image has taken a huge hit, and his subsequent “exclusion” from the advertising market may have been the final straw. It was unclear if he would ever play for the national team again. On the 16th, Chung Mong-kyu, the president of the Korea Football Association, announced the dismissal of former coach Jürgen Klinsmann, saying, “I think the only discipline is not to call the national team. We’ll have to discuss options when the national team coach is appointed later. “Luckily, Son Heung-min’s big apology paved the way for Lee Kang-in, who was on the edge of amnesty .Lee Kang-in, who traveled to London, England, to apologize to Son Heung-min, admitted that all the fault lies with him.

“I did something I shouldn’t have done that day at the dinner table. Even looking back on it now, I should never have done it. I am deeply sorry for these things,” he wrote .He also vowed to be “different” in the future. “I deeply regret that I lacked consideration and respect for my seniors and colleagues,” he wrote, “and I promised to have a more proper attitude and courtesy when dealing with them.”Son Heung-min accepted the apology, saying, “I will take special care of Kang-in so that he can grow into a better person and player. “With some players reportedly saying, “I will not play for the national team if Lee Kang-in is selected,” it seems that the conflict between Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in at the center of the incident has been resolved, and the atmosphere in the national team will return to “normal.” If Lee Kang-in truly shows consideration for his teammates as he promised in his apology, the fans’ love for him will be restored. Korean soccer would also be in good hands. If the two stars hadn”t been able to reconcile their differences, it would have been another chaotic situation heading into the March A-match period (March 18-26).The KFA can now focus on the task of hiring a new head coach to lead the national team. The previous day, the National Strength and Conditioning Committee was formed to work on the selection process. A total of 11 members, including the chairman of the committee, Chung Jung-sung, have been appointed to find the right coach to lead the Taegeuk 토토 Warriors back to strength.

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