Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

South Korea court orders compensation for Cristiano Ronaldo no-show in exhibition match

Juventus star had remained on the bench during all-stars match in Seoul last year

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo. Reuters
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo. Reuters

A South Korean promoter has been ordered to compensate fans after Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo failed to play an exhibition match as promised.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner stayed on the bench throughout a 3-3 draw with a K-League all-stars team in July last year, despite the pleas and anger of a sell-out 65,000 crowd at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Match promoter The Fasta had run adverts promising the Portuguese striker would play.

The Seoul Central District Court ordered The Fasta to refund half the ticket price and an additional 50,000 won ($45) in compensation to each of 162 plaintiffs who had sued the promoter.

Tickets – priced from 30,000 won to 400,000 won – had sold out in less than three minutes, such was the clamour to see the 35-year-old.

"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.

The fans who had come expecting Ronaldo to play suffered "emotional distress", it added.

The verdict followed a court in a different district ordering The Fasta to compensate two fans who had accused it of false advertising.

Anger over the superstar's absence spread beyond sports fans to the wider public, prompting the coining of an online phrase "acting like Ronaldo", referring to someone who doesn't live up to their promises.

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