The Korea Herald


Surprise appearance of Son Heung-min packs public park in minutes, prompts police to control area

By Yonhap

Published : July 6, 2024 - 11:11

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Son Heung-min (Yonhap) Son Heung-min (Yonhap)

South Korean football star Son Heung-min was spotted playing a casual match at a public park near Seoul, drawing thousands of spectators in minutes and prompting police to control the scene, according to police and witnesses Saturday.

Police said some 13 reports had been filed as of 9:20 p.m. Friday of a crowd surging to a "dangerous" level at a public sports park in Yongin, just south of Seoul, where the captain of Tottenham Hotspur apparently happened to have turned up and been playing football.

Son's surprise appearance almost immediately drew at least 2,000 people from around the area, as the news was quickly spread through social media, the police said.

Police and firefighting authorities sent 29 officials to the site to dissolve the crowd.

Witnesses say the situation got serious as some of the hyped-up crowd climbed up the fence around the park to watch Son play, while others screamed and tried to push their way into the football stadium inside the park.

People uploaded postings on social media recounting how dangerous the scene had become and how they were fearful of a crowd crush.

Son finished the game earlier than scheduled and left the place at about 10:10 p.m.

"Fortunately, no accidents occurred. We completed helping the citizens return home safely," a police official said.

This was the second time Son, who is spending time back home on a break, has unexpectedly appeared in public. Last week, Son was seen playing a match with a group of people at a local football arena in eastern Seoul. (Yonhap)