July 31 – Angry South Korean fans are seeking compensation after Cristiano Ronaldo stayed on the bench during a Juventus pre-season friendly in Seoul despite being contracted to appear.
The Portuguese superstar had been expected to play at least 45 minutes against K-League All Stars, according to event organisers The Fasta Inc, but sat out the entire game before a sell-out 65,000 crowd. The match was drawn 3-3.
An online community was formed on South Korea’s Naver web portal to protest Ronaldo’s lack of participation and fans have contacted a Seoul law firm, Myungan, to take action seeking compensation of 70,000 won ($59) per ticket
“Many purchased tickets to see Ronaldo. The Fasta publicised that the company had a deal with Juventus which stipulated Ronaldo would play for at least 45 minutes and that Ronaldo would hold a fan signing event,” lawyer Kim Min-ki told Reuters .
Kim said the suit would be officially filed sometime next week if the agency does not offer a concrete plan to compensate ticket holders before then.
Robin Chang, CEO of The Fasta, reportedly broke down in tears when quizzed by broadcaster SBS and said she only found out that Ronaldo would not be making an appearance 10 minutes into the second half.
“When I went to argue with (Pavel) Nedved, the vice president of Juventus, all he said was ‘I also wish Ronaldo ran (sic), but he doesn’t want to. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do.’ I was so frustrated,” she said.
South Korea’s professional football governing body, K League, said a letter of protest has been sent to the Italian champions for violating the contract.
Many fans have been voicing their anger at Ronaldo on social media. “He betrayed the 60,000 audience and belittled us,” one fan who attended the match posted on Instagram.
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