BEIJING (Reuters) - China coach Shang Ruihua is questioning the eligibility of South Korean player Park Eun-Sun for the upcoming women’s Asian Cup and has urged authorities to conduct a gender test, local media reported.
“If Park is participating in the Asian Cup we will definitely appeal to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) to test her gender,” Shang told Chengdu Business Daily, a paper from the host city of the May 19-30 tournament in southwest China.
Park has been selected for the South Korea training squad after a five-year retirement. The 1.80m (5 ft 11) striker scored 13 goals in 11 international matches she played for South Korea before retiring in 2005 at 19.
However, her power and voice have raised doubts in some players and coaches.
“Her voice is too deep,” said Chinese player Li Jie.
The 24-year-old scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over China at the 2004 Asian Under 19 Women’s Championships. Another goal from Park at an East Asian tournament in 2005 contributed to the South Korean senior side’s first victory over China in 15 years.
“We heard of her return. We are shocked,” said Shang. “It would be unfair for all other players if she is not really eligible on gender grounds.”
China is set to play South Korea in their first appearance in Group B, followed by matches against Vietnam and Australia.
Reporting by Liu Zhen and Tom Miles; Editing by Miles Evans