Police Raid Event Organizers Behind Cristiano Ronaldo Debacle

      August 09, 2019 13:35

      Cristiano Ronaldo

      Police on Thursday searched the office of the event agency behind a football match here advertised as a chance to see superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who never took the pitch.

      Thousands of fans bought expensive tickets for the friendly between the K-League All-Star team and Italian club Juventus on July 26, whose hype relied heavily on the superstar's name and face, and were bitterly disappointed when he spent the whole match on the bench.

      Police raided the offices of TheFasta in Seoul on Thursday for nearly four hours. "We seized documents related to the match," a police spokesman said. Police are investigating TheFasta, Juventus and Ronaldo himself on fraud charges. The Fasta says Ronaldo was contractually bound to play at least 45 minutes, and the most expensive tickets cost W400,000 (US$1=W1,210).

      TheFasta apologized on Thursday afternoon, saying, "We will send a letter of complaint to Juventus for violation of contract. We have no intention of avoiding our responsibility as organizers of the event."

      Prior to the raid, police banned one person in Korea from traveling overseas in relation to the investigation and questioned two officials from the K-League who hosted the match.

      Separately, fans filed a civil suit on July 29. A staffer with the law firm handling the case said another 100 people are expected to join the class action suit.

      The case will turn on whether TheFasta had an implied contract with fans who expected Ronaldo to play or whether they have no standing because the contract was between TheFasta and Juventus.

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