The disgruntled fans are seeking compensation for the Portuguese star’s absence in Seoul
Cristiano Ronaldo’s failure to get on the field during a recent Juventus friendly has caused football supporters in South Korea to take legal action against the match organisers.
The superstar forward stayed on the bench for the whole 90 minutes during Juve’s 3-3 draw with the K-League All Stars team at Seoul World Cup Stadium last week.
Fans who attended the game are said to have suffered “mental anguish” by Ronaldo’s non-appearance, after organiser The Fasta Inc alleged the 34-year-old was contractually obligated to play in the match.
Korean lawyer Kim Min-ki, who has been spearheading the lawsuit against the match organisers, says he will be pursuing a €53 (£48/$59) match ticket refund and €759 (£697/$847) compensation for each customer’s “painful” situation.
“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,” Kim told Reuters.
“Normally in such cases the plaintiffs will be refunded the price of the tickets, but I put this under a special case since the company, through false advertising, took advantage of the football star’s fans.
“For now we have two plaintiffs who sued the company, but I have been getting a lot of calls today and I assume there will be some 60,000 more.
“As for the mental anguish part, I’d like to say some of them are raucous fans, the real avid fans. So for them it has been very painful because they love Ronaldo and want to protect him, but they can’t, given the situation.”
The Fasta Inc CEO Robin Chang told Korean broadcaster SBS that Ronaldo was supposed to play half of the match and she was only unaware he wouldn’t play in the 55th minute of the contest.
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“When I went to argue with (Pavel) Nedved, the vice president of Juventus, all he said was ‘I also wish Ronaldo ran, but he doesn’t want to. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do’. I was so frustrated,” Chang said.
After a delayed flight from China, Juventus’ team bus arrived after the match against Korea’s best players was supposed to kick off, forcing the start time of the game to be pushed back by an hour.
Juventus have yet to comment on the Korean leg of their Asian tour.