South Korean fans win court case after Cristiano Ronaldo benched for Juventus friendly
Supporters took legal action after Ronaldo was left on the bench for a pre-season friendly
Cristiano Ronaldo fans in South Korea have successfully sued a match promoter after the Portugal forward failed to play in a friendly as promised.
Ronaldo had been expected to feature for Juventus in their pre-season friendly with a K-League all-stars team in July 2019, with promoters The Fasta advertising that he would be involved in the game. Despite this, he remained on the bench for the entirety of the 3-3 draw, leaving the majority of the 65,000-strong crowd that had shown up at the Seoul World Cup Stadium disappointed.
As a result, 162 of those in attendance opted to take legal action and, as a result, the Seoul Central District Court has now reportedly ordered The Fasta to refund half the ticket price and an additional 50,000 won (approximately £34) to each of them.
"The defendant has contractual obligations of Ronaldo playing in the game barring any unforeseen circumstances," the court said, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency (via CNA). It was also added that those who had expected to see Ronaldo in action had suffered "emotional distress" at his no-show.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner and Juventus were both exempt from any blame in the court case.
Ronaldo's future at Juventus has recently been the subject of speculation. Reports in Italy suggested he could be sold at the end of the current season if Juve fail to win the Champions League again. Further reports linking him with a return to Manchester United swiftly followed.