“I received so much love, attention and support during the Asian Cup, and I couldn’t reciprocate. I wanted to say I’m sorry for disappointing you,” said Lee Kang-in, who was at the center of the controversy over the Hapkuk award. The apology was not requested by the Korean Football Association, but rather a voluntary choice to show his sincerity.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by interim head coach Hwang Sun-hong, will take on Thailand at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Seoul World Cup Stadium in the third match of Group C of the second Asian qualifying round for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026. They will then travel to Thailand on June 26 for the fourth match. 홀덤사이트 South Korea currently lead Group C with two straight wins.

This is the first A-Match since the end of the controversial and scarred Asian Cup. South Korea were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup Qatar in January. Expectations were high for the “all-time greats” – Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Kang-in, and Kim Min-jae, all of whom play in big leagues in Europe – but their bid to win the title for the first time in 64 years was dashed.

The aftermath was devastating. Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann was fired after just one year in charge. To make matters worse, controversy erupted in the squad ahead of the semifinal against Jordan. It became even more controversial when it was reported that Lee Kang-in was at the center of it, and he later apologized on social media.

Now, it’s all over. Lee Kang-in visited Son Heung-min in London and apologized sincerely, and both players announced on social media that they”ve reconciled.

Lee apologized once again. After arriving at Incheon International Airport on the 19th, Lee went straight to the team’s accommodation and apologized once again in front of all the players. In response, senior members of the national team, including Son Heung-min and Kim Jin-soo, surrounded him and called for the team to reunite.

Before the official training session, Lee bowed his head in front of the press. He greeted them with a 90-degree bow and said, “Thank you for coming. I would like to thank coach Hwang Sun-hong for giving me this opportunity. I received so much love, attention and support during the Asian Cup, and I couldn’t reciprocate. I wanted to apologize for disappointing you,” he said.

“I learned a lot from this opportunity. I think everyone’s bitter words will be very helpful in the future, and I am having a great time of reflection. I will try to become not only a soccer player but also a better person and an exemplary person who can help the team. I will do my best to become such a player. Please support the Korean national team,” he said, promising to be an exemplary player.

Lee’s apology was sincere. Initially, Lee Kang-in wanted to apologize to fans and the public at the airport, but due to the uncontrollable nature of the airport, the Korea Football Association (KFA) arranged a separate meeting.

In response, a KFA official said, “The KFA did not recommend or force him to do so. Coach Hwang Sun-hong said at the press conference that Lee Kang-in wanted to apologize, and we have been communicating with him since then to prepare for the meeting. He wanted to apologize, and it was 100% voluntary.”

“Initially, Lee Kang-in wanted to apologize at the airport, but the federation refused because it was out of control. He wanted to apologize himself, and he prepared his own words. There was no suggestion from the federation, and we communicated with him,” he added.

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