Football: Ronaldo on the bench, justice orders to compensate the fans

The notoriety of “CR7” sometimes takes on surreal proportions. A South Korean court on Friday (November 20) ordered a local promoter to compensate fans who had not seen Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo in action on the lawn, during a friendly match in Seoul in 2019 .

Despite repeated calls from the 65,000 spectators who came to fill a stadium in Seoul in July 2019, Ronaldo remained resting on the bench during a confrontation between Juventus and an all-star K-League team (3- 3), the South Korean Championship. However, “the defendant had the contractual obligation to ensure that Ronaldo plays, except in unforeseen circumstances”, estimated the central court of the district of Seoul Friday, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Reimbursement of half the ticket price and an additional 50,000 won

The court therefore ruled that the match’s promoter, The Fasta, should reimburse half the ticket price and an additional 50,000 won (37 euros) to each of the 162 plaintiffs who sued him. The Fasta had indeed insisted on the participation of the Portuguese striker, and the tickets, the price of which ranged from 30,000 to 400,000 won (22 euros to 301 euros), were sold in less than three minutes.

But now, the medical staff had finally recommended that Ronaldo remain at rest because of muscle fatigue. The supporters who had mainly come to see the five-time Golden Ball suffered from “emotional distress”, according to the justice, reported the press agency. No action has, however, been taken against Ronaldo or his club.

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This verdict follows that of the Incheon District Court last February, which forced the promoter to pay 282 euros to two fans who accused him of false advertising. The promoter was accused of defrauding some 6 billion won (€ 4.5 million) in ticket sales by claiming that in the contract with Juve there was a clause guaranteeing the presence of the Portuguese star on the pitch for at least 45 minutes.

The anger over the Portuguese’s absence on the pitch reached the general public, favoring the creation of the expression “act like Ronaldo”, which refers to someone who does not keep his promises.

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