Seoul police said Monday they have put a travel ban on an official involved in a controversy surrounding football star Cristiano Ronaldo's absence in a recent exhibition match.
An official with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency told reporters that one person has been banned from leaving the country, while two others from the K League, the national governing body of professional football, have been questioned. Police declined to identify the person under the travel ban.
Ronaldo was conspicuous by his absence in an exhibition contest between his Italian side Juventus and the K League All-Stars in Seoul on July 26. After a 3-3 draw, some 66,000 fans who filled Seoul World Cup Stadium went home angry and disappointed that the one star they'd paid large sums of money to watch didn't set foot on the pitch.
Juventus cited Ronaldo's muscle fatigue as the reason for the benching, but the K League and TheFasta, a marketing agency that organized the match, countered that Juventus had contractual obligations to play Ronaldo at least 45 minutes. Juventus have been defiant in the aftermath, saying they rejected the South Korean side's accusation of breach of contract and stressed that they fulfilled all obligations for fans "at the highest possible level."
The K League in turn demanded an apology from the Italian champions.
Amid this back and forth, a South Korean attorney filed fraud charges against TheFasta, Juventus and Ronaldo last week at Seoul police's cyber investigation unit. (Yonhap)