The Korea Football Association announced the list of 24 Olympic team players to participate in the away match in France on the 6th. The Olympic team, led by head coach Hwang, will depart for France on the 13th. He will play a warm-up match with a French professional team in Le Havre on the 17th, and will play a warm-up match with the French Under-21 national team led by coach Thierry Henry on the 20th.
The key to the call-up was whether or not foreign players would be selected. Hwang minimized this. Three overseas players included in the call-up list are defender Kim Ji-soo (Brentford), midfielder Kwon Hyuk-kyu (Celtic), and striker Jung Sang-bin (Minnesota). One person was selected for each position. Kwon Hyuk-kyu and Jung Sang-bin were also the main players in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Asian Cup qualifiers in September.
Lee Han-beom (Mitt Willan), Lee Hyun-joo (Behenvisbaden), Bae Joon-ho (Stoke City), and Park Kyu-hyun (Dresden), who were born between 2001 and 2002, are also in the age group that can be selected for the Olympic team. However, they were excluded.
Coach Hwang said, “I was worried about calling up overseas players, but it is unclear whether I will be able to call up overseas players at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, which will also serve as the final qualifying round for the Paris Olympics in April next year. I selected mainly K-League players,” he explained. The Asian Cup is not a tournament hosted by FIFA and is not a mandatory recruitment. The permission of the team is an important factor. Hwang plans to maximize overall organizational power by minimizing these variables.
The Olympic team will play in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2024 Paris Olympics in Qatar in April next year and the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Asian Cup. Rival countries such as Japan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan have already switched to the Olympic system and started preparations. Coach Hwang said, “We will faithfully grasp the team’s strengths and weaknesses through warm-up matches and local adaptation with France, a strong team, and prepare for the final preliminary round and finals of the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, four of the gold medal members of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, Ko Young-joon (Pohang Steelers), Hwang Jae-won (Daegu FC), Ahn Jae-joon (Bucheon FC), and Kim Jung-hoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai), who play in the K League, were called back by Hwang. Kim Sun-ho (Bucheon FC) and Lee Kang-hee (Gyeongnam FC) were selected for the first time under coach Hwang.