31 July 2019

Fans show Ronaldo a red card

Not tax charges or rape allegations this time, but angry fans seeking a lawsuit after he stays on the bench in South Korea friendly.

Angry fans in South Korea have turned to Seoul law firm Myungan to file a lawsuit against footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who has only just emerged from a legal case regarding alleged rape charges.

Chants for Messi

They are seeking compensation after Cristiano Ronaldo failed to take to the pitch during a Juventus pre-season friendly. Mr Ronaldo was contracted to play 45 minutes when the match against K League All Stars was announced, organisers say, but he stayed on the substitutes’ bench. Fans became angry when he made no sign of appearing, and started to chant the name of his rival Lionel Messi. They are seeking compensation of 70,000 won (£48.50; $59) per ticket, 1,000 won for the ticket commission fee, and 1m won each for compensation for “mental anguish.” A lawyer from the firm told Reuters, “Normally in such cases the plaintiffs will be refunded the price of the tickets, but I put this under a special case since the company, through false advertising, took advantage of the football star's fans.” The lawyer explained, “As for the mental anguish part, I'd like to say some of them are raucous fans, the real avid fans. So for them it is very painful because they love Ronaldo and want to protect him, but they can't, given the situation.” Mr Ronaldo spent the entire match on the substitutes' bench.

Half contracted

The Myungan lawyer explained, “For now we have two plaintiffs who sued the company, but I have been getting a lot of calls today and I assume there will be some 60,000 more.” Robin Chang, ceo of The Fasta, the Korean agency which arranged the game, tearfully confirmed to broadcaster SBS that the contract stipulated the Portuguese star appear for 45 minutes. However, Ms Chang said she only found out that the 34-year-old would not be making an appearance 10 minutes into the second half. She explained, “When I went to argue with (Pavel) Nedved, the vice president of Juventus, all he said was 'I also wish Ronaldo ran, but he doesn't want to. Sorry, there's nothing I can do.' I was so frustrated.” South Korea's professional football governing body, K League, said a letter of protest has been sent to the Italian champions for violating the contract.