LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min has begun a three-week period of mandatory military service in his native South Korea while the Premier League season is suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local news agency Yonhap has reported.
Son, who returned to South Korea from London at the end of March, completed two weeks of quarantine and reported to a Marine Corps unit on the island of Jeju earlier on Monday, where he will remain until May 8, the report said.
The 27-year-old will be exposed to tear gas, go on hikes and receive weapons training during his stint with the marines and is expected to return to London by the end of May, it added.
Able-bodied South Korean men must serve about two years in the armed forces, but Son earned an exemption for leading the country to gold at the 2018 Asian Games.
Under the terms of the exemption, he needs to complete basic training and 544 hours of community service over the next 34 months while he remains a professional athlete.
The Premier League season has been suspended since March 13 with Tottenham in eighth place.