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South Korea Do As They’re Told – No Olympics For Park

Sir Alex Ferguson strongly promotes a club over country attitude, which is usually adopted by the players in his team.

Gabriel Heinze was a player who always went against the grain in that sense, picking his national team, Argentina, over United. After spending the whole season out injured for United, he rushed himself back early to play in the World Cup for his country, which brought about another injury, seeing him miss even more time for us. When he first signed for us, he joined up with the team late on, after representing his country at the Olympics.

When Patrice Evra signed, Ferguson was more than happy to find a replacement for Heinze, who didn’t take on the same mentality Fergie wants his United players to have.

Park Ji-Sung, who has spent much of the 07/08 season out injured, won’t be making the same mistake, as it has been announced today he won’t be featuring for his country in the Olympics.

“It is with regret that we have decided not to summon Park Ji-sung for the Olympics,” said Korea’s Olympic coach Park Sung-hwa. “After talking with the KFAs (Korean Football Association) technical committee, we made the decision because his physical condition is not perfect and he faces fierce competition for places at Manchester United.”

Sung-hwa admitted that United have been in touch, firmly stating their desire for Park to be left out of the Olympic squad. “His club sent an official document stating that Park Ji-sung needed rest for a while due to the problem with his knee,” he said.

Do you think the club are fair to players who may want to play for their country?

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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4 Comments

  1. jonny says:

    i think we cant bash hienze when rooney basically pulled the same stunt for the world cup.

    i think the club is right to look after the best interest of its players health wise. beyond that, it isn’t right for a club to pressure a player to not play for his national team.

  2. Tom F says:

    I have always had a United>Country attitude but can see in players such as Tevez a genuine, strong passion for playing for his country.

    After a player like him, has put that much effort in to this club it’s only fair to let him join up with Argentina… on the following conditions, which I believe SAF abides by:

    1) The player is not injured, or just back from injury and not match ready.

    2) It’s actually an important game / tournament.

    He has always written off friendlies and while the Olympic Games may be big for South Korea, at the end of the day it’s a competition for the youngsters more than any.

    Maybe Fergie should let Scholes and Giggs have time off to play Masters Football this summer… :D

  3. jonny says:

    a difference that should be noted is that park is s korea’s banner holder in europe, and he lends legitimacy to korean players, even though he’s only a squad member. its in the KFA’s best interest to keep United happy with him so that they’ll keep playing him.

    wheras with heinze the argentinian fa couldnt give a fuck what united want

  4. raisnhell says:

    In today’s global economy, mixed cultures, and heightened awareness, countries, in my opinion, are obsolete. They are good for administration and management of the people living in that particular area only. When it comes to football, it is only inflated egos that are at stake (other than may be economic boost) for the countries. Since clubs are the ones that bring out the talent in the players across the board, they should be the ones where a player’s priorities lie. Ofcourse the heart will always want to play for the country and make it proud of you, but you can’t be unappreciative of the hard work, time, effort, energy, resources and money that has been spent to enhance the skills.

    United > England

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