The CEO of TheFasta, the local agency in charge of the exhibition match between Juventus and South Korean league All-Stars team, said her Italian counterpart had apologized to the agency about Cristiano Ronaldo’s benching.
During an interview with local media outlet Sports Seoul, Robin Jang, TheFasta’s CEO, said she was able to reach Juventus’ project manager on Saturday and received an apology.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Yonhap)
According to the newspaper’s reporting, Jang quoted the manager as saying, “Everything that happened in Korea is all our fault. This is the most disgraceful event that have occurred to the team (Juventus). I’m very sorry.”
The organizer also told Jang that the team will be holding a meeting Monday to talk about the situation.
South Korean soccer fans were disappointed last Friday about Ronaldo’s benching during the game which, according to prior promotions, would include at least 45-minutes of him playing.
During the post-match press conference, Juventus’ manager Maurizio Sarri explained he didn’t play Ronaldo due to the player’s poor physical condition. The team arrived in Seoul only a few hours before the match was scheduled to take place and showed up late at the stadium, delaying the game’s start by almost an hour.
Juventus’ manager Maurizio Sarri (Yonhap)
Jang said that she feels betrayed by the Italian team, which had promised there would be no problem for its players to move in such tight schedule.
“Although some say the penalty was too light to have any effect in preventing the breach of agreement, Juventus rejected a higher amount, saying the team did not exist just for Ronaldo,” Jang said, adding that “it’s not common to request a heavy penalty regarding a superstar’s playing time.”
The CEO went on to say that “Although the contract was made in legitimate circumstances, even if we were to take legal action against Juventus, it would be like hitting a rock with an egg.”
South Koreans’ fury over the match was amplified when it was belatedly reported that, as questions about Ronaldo’s benching built up, Sarri had sarcastically said during the press conference that he will pay for the flight tickets for those who wanted to come to Italy to see Ronaldo play.
Some of the disappointed fans have expressed willingness to sue TheFasta for falsely promoting Ronaldo’s involvement in the game. More than 1,800 people have left comments on the online posting recruiting fans for litigation against the agency.
By Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)