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South Korean Fans File Lawsuit After Cristiano Ronaldo Misses Juventus Friendly

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo, second from right, of Juventus sits on the bench prior to a friendly match against Team K League at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo not appearing against the K League All-Stars in a preseason friendly has some fans suing a match sponsor for "mental anguish," according to Reuters (h/t ESPN FC).

Juventus forward Ronaldo was allegedly obligated to feature for a minimum of 45 minutes when the Bianconeri met the All-Stars in Seoul on Friday. However, the 34-year-old remained on the bench for the whole match.

Two members of an online community have asked lawyer Kim Min-ki to file a lawsuit against The Fasta Inc., who organised the game. Kin outlined the issue: "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."

Neither Fasta nor Juve offered comment when contacted by Reuters, per the report. The former could be liable for the following figures: "70,000 won ($59) per ticket, 1,000 won for the ticket commission fee and 1,000,000 won ($847) each for the mental anguish."

Fans were reportedly not pleased with Ronaldo's non-participation in Seoul.
Fans were reportedly not pleased with Ronaldo's non-participation in Seoul.Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press

While Kim is so far making the case along this line in the name of a pair of plaintiffs, Kim is confident as many as 60,000 could eventually join the legal petition.

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He also revealed how Fasta CEO Robin Chang had informed a local broadcaster Ronaldo would be in action for at least 45 minutes. Chang told Kim she discovered that wouldn't be the case "10 minutes into the second half."

In addition to speaking with Chang, Kim also said he had a conversation with Juve vice president Pavel Nedved. The lawyer said the former Czech Republic international told him: "I also wish Ronaldo ran, but he doesn't want to. Sorry, there's nothing I can do."

Reuters confirmed Fasta accused Juventus of failing to fulfil the contract Saturday, with the K League following this with a letter to the Serie A giants on Tuesday.

This proposed lawsuit will raise questions about the nature of high-profile and heavily marketed preseason tournaments. The build almost demands the participation of marquee stars, the kind of players Europe's top clubs likely don't want to risk ahead of the start of the real action.

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