South Korea coach Jurgen Klinsmann included Son Jun-ho in his squad Monday for two friendlies this month, despite the player still being held in China in connection with a bribery case. World Cup midfielder Son, who plays in China for Shandong Taishan, was detained last month in the northeastern province of Liaoning.
Klinsmann nevertheless included the 31-year-old in his squad for matches home to Peru on June 16 and El Salvador four days later, even though he is unlikely to be available. Obviously we are all shocked of the situation of Jun-ho and he has our total support,” Klinsmann told reporters as he named a 23-man squad.
“We hope every day something happens, but it’s not in our hands.” The Korea Football Association told AFP that it had sent officials to China to seek Son’s release, but the player’s lawyer was “reluctant” to speak to them.
The KFA officials returned to South Korea on Monday “without success”, Yonhap news agency reported. China has released few details about the allegations against Son, saying only that he was detained “on suspicion of accepting bribes by non-state employees”.
“We’re looking after him, he’s getting our support,” added Klinsmann. We don’t know his state of mind, we don’t know what physical state he is, but I think he deserves all the support from us.
Son played in three of South Korea’s four matches at last year’s World Cup in Qatar. Also in the latest squad is talisman and skipper Son Heung-min, the Spurs forward.
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