A court in South Korea has ordered Juventus Football Club to compensate two fans, over its failure to field Cristiano Ronaldo during its pre-season tour of the Asian country.
The fans were said to have a suffered “mental anguish” after Ronaldo who they had come to watch play at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, was declared unfit.
The fans were therefore awarded a financial compensation after the court in Incheon, west of Seoul, on Tuesday ordered that they be paid 371,000 won ($465) each.
Ronaldo, according to Event organisers, The Fasta Inc., was billed to play for 45-minutes at least in the game against K League All Stars.
With the expectation that they were going to see their favorite star play, the tickets for the match were sold out in no time.
The 65,000 fans, most of whom paid around 71,000 won ($59) for a match ticket were left disappointed after Ronaldo sat on the bench for the whole 90 minutes.
According to the management, Ronaldo had a muscle problem and could not feature in the match which ended in a 3-3 draw.
More so, Cristiano was said to have missed a signing session, where fans wearing jersey’s bearing his name and number had gathered to get an autograph from the him.
Recall that the police in South Korea raided the office of Fasta Inc. in August last year, as part of complaints filed against the agency.
It is believed that Fasta Inc. orchestrated the plan to swindle fans of $4.9 million worth of ticket sales by not warning them ahead of time that Ronaldo might not play in the match.
Management of the Fasta are said to have agreed to “fully co-operate” with investigators and are determined to “clear any concerns and suspicions”, levelled against them.
With its Chief Executive Officer Robin Jang banned from traveling out of South Korea pending when the firm clears its name, the marketing agency has also lodged a complaint with Juventus over “their breach of contract.”
Kang Joon-woo, of Seoul-based legal firm Oh Kims Sports, while speaking to The Independent, said: “The host secured tickets revenues even though the game was not implemented as advertised.
“It was the organiser’s fault that it did not prepare for the situation. It caused the soccer fans to take all the damages. The Fasta…should be legally liable.”
In a post-match report by Naver Sports, Ronaldo was also accused of not showing any sign of remorse over the incident nor has he made any attempt to apologise.
Kim Min-ki, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit against The Fasta, is said to be representing 87 other complainants in the same case and had already won ticket refunds and 300,000 won ($252) for each of the two fans in the court.
The fans according to an initial report by Reuters, were seeking one million won ($842) each, while other fans were also seeking compensation to the tune of 950,000 won ($800) each in a suit filed at the Seoul Central District Court.
Speaking on the trial, Kim told the news agency: “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.”
More so, in a statement issued in 2019, the K-League was quoted as saying: “For fans in South Korea, Ronaldo’s appearance isn’t just about contract, but a trust in Juventus with 121 years of its rich history.
“The fans expected Juventus to offer an explanation and a sincere apology for the reasons of discrediting the trust so easily, but the Juventus club even gave up its last hope.
“If Ronaldo was unable to play, it would be a blatant deception to include Ronaldo as a substitute on the start list,” the statement read.
During the tour, Ronaldo who turned 35 years today, played in matches against Tottenham and Inter Milan.
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