Media outlet Dispatch released an article exposing Korea’s much-maligned football association’s lack of care for its players during the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
On January 2, the media outlet revealed the circumstances under which Son Heung Min‘s private trainer, Ahn Deok Soo, worked to take care of Korea’s footballers during the World Cup tournament.
Previously, Ahn Deok Soo made news when he alleged that the Korean Football Association failed to provide the necessary resources to the Korean footballers for them to recuperate and receive much-needed treatment throughout the tournament.
Their journey was beautiful. I will remember the times we’ve spent together for a long time! This picture was taken in room 2701 before the last group match against Portugal, where we all said we didn’t want this (World Cup) to end this way! This was the 2701 resolution!
Trainers Song Young Sik and Lee Chul Hee, thank you so much! (Rehabilitating) Care for each player took anywhere from two to three hours! Because each trainer worked on 5-6 players, our hands were bloated and in bad shape, but it was nothing compared to the sweat (that the players) spilled.
There were many incidents in room 2701. I will tell reporters why we even needed room 2701 if reporters contact me. I will tell you about the nonsensical, unbelievable things that happened!
I hope they (Korean Football Association) learn and change, as it is the only way Korean Football can have a future! Because I have been with professional football teams for 20 years, it’s impossible for me not to consider the future of Korean Football!
Change!!! And don’t only think about yourselves!
— Ahn Deok Su
According to Dispatch, Ahn Deok Su, despite being Premier League superstar Son Heung Min‘s private trainer, was never officially hired by the Korean Football Association due to “issues” with the trainer’s credentials. This claim, however, was soon dismissed when it was revealed that the Football Association had hired trainers who were less qualified than Ahn Deok Su. At the time, the Korean Football Association is reported to have stated that the trainer was “overly greedy.”
Due to this, players personally paid for Ahn Deok Su’s plane tickets and lodging in Qatar during the World Cup. Dispatch revealed that in the trainer’s hotel room, Ahn Deok Su treated 5-6 players every day for 15 hours.
In November, Ahn Deok Su arrived in Qatar thanks to a plane ticket that was paid for by a player. He stayed in his hotel, where he treated 5-6 players every day for 15 hours a day.
Dispatch contacted the Korean Football Association for comment, but those close to the situation all refused to speak to the outlet. One high-ranking associate told Dispatch, “I have nothing to say. I apologize.”