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Brentford defender Kim Ji-soo cut from Korean squad before Olympic qualifiers

Brentford FC defender Kim Ji-soo is seen in this undated file photo. Captured from Brentford website

Brentford FC defender Kim Ji-soo will not play for Korea at the upcoming Olympic men’s football qualifiers in Qatar due to his club commitments, the national football federation announced Monday, the latest blow to the country’s pursuit of a ticket to Paris.The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Brentford decided not to release their 19-year-old defender for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup, citing club-related reasons. Head coach Hwang Sun-hong selected Pohang Steelers midfielder Kim Dong-jin as replacement.Hwang’s team traveled to Dubai last Friday to set up training camp and they’re scheduled to travel to Qatar on Wednesday. The U-23 Asian Cup, which doubles as the AFC qualifiers for the Paris Olympics, will kick off next Monday.Kim Ji-soo, who doesn’t turn 20 until Christmas Eve, would have been Korea’s youngest player at the AFC event. He has appeared in three matches for the U-23 national team and also earned a callup to the senior national team for the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year in Qatar, though he didn’t see any action.

Kim had been one of five players based in foreign leagues selected by Hwang on March 29. However, clubs aren’t obliged to release their international players for this AFC tournament, which isn’t on the FIFA international match calendar.Hours before Korean players flew to Dubai, Scottish champions Celtic FC informed the KFA that they would not send forward Yang Hyun-jun to Qatar. Brentford followed suit Monday and will keep Kim Ji-soo in England.Of the remaining overseas-based players, Dusseldorf forward Kim Min-woo joined the Korean squad in Dubai on Saturday. Bae Jun-ho of Stoke City and Jeong Sang-bin of Minnesota United have yet to report to the national team.At the AFC tournament, Korea will play in Group B against the United Arab Emirates, China and Japan.The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals, and the top three nations will book their spots in the Olympics. The fourth-place team will face Guinea in an intercontinental playoff.Korea have played at every Olympic men’s football tournament since the 토토사이트 under-23 age limit was put in place in 1992.

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