Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-min began his three-week military training at a marines boot camp on Monday.
All able-bodied South Korean men are obliged to serve in the military for nearly two years, making up the bulk of Seoul’s 600,000-strong forces.
But Son was among the South Korean footballers who earned an exemption by winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Under the terms of his gold-winner’s exemption, Son only needs to complete his basic training and perform around 500 hours of community service to satisfy his conscription obligation.
Basic training in the army is four weeks, but three weeks in the marines and navy.
The 27-year-old’s Premier League season ended even before the coronavirus outbreak spread to Europe when he broke his arm against Aston Villa on February 16.