Maurizio Sarri benches Cristiano Ronaldo lifting dispute with CR7’s fans in South Korea
August 3, 2019
watched the entire match from the bench in a preseason friendly in Seoul last
week is the subject of an increasingly acrimonious dispute between the Serie A
team, the Korea Professional Football League (K League) the event organizer and
soccer fans in the country.
Portuguese star was contracted to play for at least 45 minutes of last Friday’s
contest against the K-League All-Stars, according to the K-League.
Ronaldo spent the entire game on the bench to the dismay of many of the 66,000 fans that went to the
At a media conference after the game, Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri justified the decision not to play the Portuguese international because he “was very tired, so we decided to rest him.
wasn’t 100% fit due to muscle fatigue and we concluded that it would be best
for him to rest.”
some South Korean fans are now pursuing a group lawsuit against the event
Ronaldo spent the entire match against Team K-League on the bench.
the South Korean law firm representing those fans is seeking legal action
against The Fasta, the sports marketing agency responsible for the event with
Juventus, for a breach of contract and is seeking a full refund of ticket
prices for participants.
firm decided to go ahead with this lawsuit as football fans without retaining fee to prevent the
recurrence from happening again,” said Myung-an lawyer Kim Hun-ki.
the match The Fasta, which is accused of falsely advertising that Ronaldo would
be playing for at least 45 minutes during the match released a statement
expressing “sincere apologies” to fans, but also claimed that it did
not know about Juventus’ decision to bench Ronaldo in advance.
to Reuters, The Fasta CEO Robin Chang confirmed to local broadcaster SBS that
the contract stipulated Ronaldo play 45 minutes and said she found out that the
34-year-old would not take part 10 minutes into the second half.
K League issued an apology to fans over Ronaldo’s absence from the field, also
announcing plans to also lodge a lawsuit against The Fasta, according to the K
League’s public relations team.
a statement sent to CNN on Thursday, the K League says it feels
“indignation and disappointment,” after it failed to receive an
apology for the player’s failure to take the field, adding that it felt “cheated
by Juventus for its shamelessness.”
South Korean fans booed as they saw Ronaldo on the big screen sitting on the
bench and others eventually left the stadium during the second half after
losing hope that he would compete in the match, local media reported.
Chanting Messi’s name
didn’t you tell us you are not feeling well? Was it that hard? Far from
apologizing, your rude behavior is really incomprehensible and
disgusting.”, vented one user on the comments section of a post on
Ronaldo’s Instagram account, which was flooded by Korean-language comments.
fans and people in Korea were deeply hurt by the incident. Your rudeness will
be remembered forever… You will be remembered as the worst player in
Korea,” wrote another.
went from chanting Ronaldo’s name to chanting [Lionel] Messi’s name by the
end,” wrote another user on reddit.
a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday, Agnelli writes: “Every single
player present in Korea … played the match, except one: Cristiano Ronaldo,
who was obliged, according to our medical staff’s advice, to rest due to muscle
fatigue after the Nanjing game (against Inter Milan) which was only 48 hours
before the one in Seoul.
Mr President, I definitely reject your accusation of irresponsible behavior, of
arrogance, of disregard for fans, who we always honor.
one at Juventus wanted to bring disrepute to K League, Korea Football
Association, or Asian Football Confederation.”
Wednesday, Juventus’ website described its Asian Tour as
“We visited four major Asian cities: Singapore, Nanjing, Shanghai and Seoul, in three different countries, where we either played or created exciting events that allowed us to reach so many of our fans”, said Giorgio Ricci, Juventus Chief Revenue Officer.