At a ceremony Thursday in which the team’s new uniform was unveiled, national team coach Choi Kang-hee announced the lineup for the first and second round qualifying matches, from which Park’s name was absent.
Park has recently been at the center of criticism for delaying his compulsory military service.
Choi said that he would give Park a chance to address the criticism surrounding the delay, but Park failed to comment on the matter.
However, Choi left the Park issue open for future discussion on Thursday.
|Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng shows off the national team’s new uniform for the 2014 World Cup in Seoul on Thursday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)|
“Park Chu-young played an active role for the Korean national team and is a player that may continue to play an active role,” said Choi.
The 27-year-old received a 10-year residency visa from Monaco which allows him to delay his mandatory military service until 2022. He joined the French side AS Monaco in 2008 and played for two seasons before moving to Arsenal in the English Premier League in August 2011. Critics believe Park is trying to avoid military service as Korean law allows a foreign permanent residency holder to postpone military service for the duration of the foreign permanent resident status.
Contrary to earlier speculation that Choi would field more domestic players, the national team roster for the first and second qualifying rounds featured a large number of Korean players from abroad.
The roster included Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-yeung, FC Augsburg midfielder Koo Ja-cheol and Sunderland striker Ji Dong-won among others. Choi picked 12 players out of the total 26 Koreans playing in foreign clubs.
The move was made in consideration of the domestic players still playing for their clubs in the K-League season, Choi said.
The Korean national team will face off against Qatar on June 8 in Doha followed by Lebanon on June 12 at home.
By Robert Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)