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South Korean football fans win compensation for Cristiano Ronaldo no-show

The promoters of the exhibition between Juventus and a K-League All Star team said Ronaldo would play at least 45 minutes but he stayed on the bench.

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Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Compensation awarded to two South Korean football fans for the cost of tickets and so-called “mental anguish” because Cristiano Ronaldo did not play in a pre-season exhibition match in Seoul is just the beginning, a lawyer said.

The promoters of the game between Italian giant Juventus and a K-League All Star team last July advertised that Ronaldo would play for at least 45 minutes.

But the Portuguese star stayed on the bench for the entire match, angering sections of the 65,000-strong crowd.

A court in Incheon, west of Seoul, ordered The Fasta to pay 371,000 won (£240) each to the two fans.

Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Bernat Armangue/AP)

Seoul-based lawyer Kim Kwang-sam said the company will face more legal action from disgruntled fans.

“There are 87 people who have filed a lawsuit in the Seoul Central District Court,” Kim said, referencing football fans who are seeking 950,000 won (£615) each.

“The amount will be bigger this time.”

The promoters did not respond to requests for comment.

Ronaldo’s failure to play, explained by coach Mauricio Sarri after the game as muscle fatigue following an exhibition match in China 48 hours earlier, led to a verbal clash between the South Korean K-League and Juventus.

The Italian club also arrived at the stadium late for the game, causing the kick-off to be delayed by almost one hour.

If Ronaldo was unable to play it would be a blatant deception to include Ronaldo as a substitute on the start listK-League statement from last year

“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 K-League said in a statement last year.

“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,” the statement said, “it would be a blatant deception to include Ronaldo as a substitute on the start list.”

PA