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South Korean court orders compensation for Ronaldo no-show

Cristiano Ronaldo upset fans in South Korea when he stayed on the bench throughout a friendly match in Seoul last year © AFP / Jung Yeon-je

SEOUL, Korea, Republic of, Feb 4A South Korean court ordered a local promoter Tuesday to compensate fans for Cristiano Ronaldo’s no-show at a friendly match in Seoul last year.

The Juventus star stayed on the bench throughout a 3-3 draw with a K-League all-stars team at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in July, despite rounds of appeals from a sell-out crowd of 65,000.

Match promoter The Fasta had run adverts heavily featuring the Portuguese striker.

Tickets — priced from 30,000 won ($25) to 400,000 won — sold out in less than three minutes, with many eager to see the 34-year-old superstar in action.

Two fans sued The Fasta, accusing it of false advertising, and the Incheon District Court ruled the promoter should pay them 371,000 won each, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported.

No order was made against Ronaldo or his club.

South Korean fans’ frustration has led to the coining of an online phrase, “acting like Ronaldo”, to criticise someone who only seeks benefits without fulfilling promised action.

“If he had played just for 10 minutes, everyone would have walked home happy,” one user wrote on the country’s largest portal site Naver.

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