Arsenal striker commits to military service

Park Chu Young will sign up for his mandatory two years in the army.

Image: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

ARSENAL STRIKER PARK Chu-Young apologised Wednesday for his controversial decision to delay military service in South Korea and vowed not to shirk his duty.

“I’m sorry for those who have loved me… I will do my sacred military service, for sure,” Park told reporters after being temporarily dropped from the national team over the controversy.

The 26-year-old has come under fire for delaying his service by obtaining a 10-year residency visa for Monaco last year, when he played for AS Monaco.

Park did not say when he would report for conscription. He said he had not obtained the visa to dodge military service but in order to learn advanced football skills in Europe.

Football authorities had urged him to explain his position publicly. Allegations of draft-dodging are a sensitive topic in South Korea, where most men must undergo two years in the military.

The former national skipper had a lacklustre first season at Arsenal, managing just six appearances since his move to London last August, but he remains one of South Korea’s most influential players.

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Park was dropped for this month’s World Cup qualification games. But Olympic football team coach Hong Myung-Bo hinted he could regain his place in the squad.

“I would like to work with the player through his difficulties,” Hong said, adding he had already had “heart-to-heart” talks with Park.

- © AFP, 2012

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