News: K League teams granted U22 rule exemptions during U20 Asian Cup

Several K League teams will be granted exemptions from the U22 rule if their players have been selected in South Korea's U20 Asian Cup squad.

The young Taegeuk Warriors are headed to Uzbekistan for a Kim Eun-jung-led U20 Asian Cup campaign which gets underway on 2nd March, but 18 of the 23-man squad are on the books of K League teams.

A total of 11 teams will be affected and granted varying degrees of exemption from the U22 rule. 

What are the rules?

If a team has one U22 player called up then they do not need to name a U22 player in their starting lineup. However, one must be named in the matchday squad. If the U22 player on the bench is used either as a starter or as one of the substitutes, managers can make five changes in total

This affects Incheon United, Gangwon FC, and Daegu FC in K League 1 and Chungnam Asan and Gyeongnam FC in K League 2.

If two players or more are called up then teams do not need to name a U22 player in the starting lineup or on the bench and five substitutes can be made. 

This affects Daejeon Hana Citizen, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, and FC Seoul in K League 1 and Gimcheon Sangmu, Seongnam FC, and Seoul E-Land in K League 2.


In K League, in order for teams to be able to make five substitutions, an U22 player must be named in the starting lineup and another on the bench.

Among the five changes, one must be an U22 player coming on. 

The most high-profile names in Kim Eun-jung's U20 squad are FC Seoul's Kang Seong-jin, Daejeon Hana Citizen's Bae Jun-ho, and Gimcheon Sangmu goalkeeper Kim Joon-hong.

First up for South Korea in the group stage is Oman on 2nd March, followed by Jordan on 5th March and then Tajikistan on 8th March.

Should South Korea make it out of the group, the knockout stages begin on 11th March with the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals on 15th Match and the final on 18th March.

This could mean that K League 1 and 2 teams could be exempt until after Round 4.

K League Teams Affected

K League 1

Daejeon Hana Citizen: Bae Jun-ho, Bae Seo-joon, Kim Kyung-hwan (3)
Jeonbuk Hyundai: Park Cheong-woo, Kang Sang-yoon (2)
Incheon United: Park Hyun-bin (1)
FC Seoul: Cho Young-kwang, Kang Seong-jin (2)
Gangwon FC: Lee Seung-won (1)
Daegu FC: Kim Hee-seung (1)

K League 2

Gimcheon Sangmu: Kim Jong-hoon, Lee Young-jun (2)
Chungnam Asan: Moon Hyun-ho (1)
Gyeongnam FC: Lee Jun-jae (1)
Seongnam FC: Kim Ji-soo, Lee Jun-sang (2)
Seoul E-Land: Hwang In-taek, Park Jun-young (2)

Source: K League 

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