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K League sends protest letter to Juventus FC

July 31,2019
Korea’s pro football governing body, the K League, said Tuesday that it has sent a letter of protest to Juventus FC for its breach of contract for benching Cristiano Ronaldo in an exhibition match in Seoul last week.

On Friday, the friendly match between the Italian champions and K League All-Stars was scheduled to start at 8 p.m., but the kickoff was delayed about one hour as Juventus only arrived at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8:15 p.m.

Some 63,000 fans filled the stadium to watch the 3-3 draw.

The delay and the sidelining of Ronaldo have caused angry reactions from Korean football fans who had anticipated the Portuguese to play on Korean soil for the first time in more than 10 years.

“We’ve sent a letter to Juventus to protest against the club’s breach of contract, including Ronaldo’s nonappearance,” Kim Jin-hyung, who leads the public relations team for the K League, said in a press briefing in Seoul.

Juventus had demanded the K League and the event organizer reduce the length of the game to two halves of 40 minutes each and have a 10-minute halftime break for the exhibition match, according to the K League.

It had also threatened to cancel the event if its demands were not accepted.

The K League also sent documents to the Italian professional league, Serie A, and the Asian Football Confederation to describe Juventus’ violations, the K League official said.

Meanwhile, the pro football body is in talks with TheFasta, the agency responsible for the event with Juventus, to measure the damage for the breach of contract.

A contract between the K League and TheFasta reportedly stipulates several clauses that Ronaldo would play at least 45 minutes.

“Ronaldo didn’t play, and Juventus didn’t hold a fan meeting either,” the K League official said. “We will precisely calculate the exact amount of damage and ask TheFasta to pay the penalty.”

Yonhap