Juventus reject K League protests over Ronaldo’s no-show in friendly

Juventus have rejected suggestions from the president of South Korea’s K League that they violated a contract by not playing Cristiano Ronaldo in a friendly in Seoul last week.

Event organisers claim the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was contracted to play at least 45 minutes of the match against the K League All Stars, which ended in a 3-3 draw.

However, Ronaldo did not take the field due to ‘muscle fatigue’, according to Juventus, prompting some South Korean fans to pursue compensation.

The K League wrote to the Italian champions to protest, but Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has dismissed their complaints to K League president Kwon Oh-gap in a letter seen by Reuters.

Agnelli wrote: “Every single player present in Korea…played the match, except one: Cristiano Ronaldo, who was obliged, according to our medical staff’s advice, to rest due to muscle fatigue after the Nanjing game (against Inter Milan) which was only 48 hours before the one in Seoul.

“Therefore, Mr President, I definitely reject your accusation of irresponsible behaviour, of arrogance, of disregard for fans, who we always honour.

“No one at Juventus wanted to bring disrepute to K League, Korea Football Association or Asian Football Confederation.”

Agnelli also criticised arrangements ahead of the friendly in Seoul which resulted in kick-off being delayed.

He wrote: “Juventus arrived at the hotel at 4.30pm. There was no time to rest or to hold regular pre-match activity.

“No police escort was provided to the Juventus bus. Traffic was really busy and the coach got stuck for almost two hours, something which has never happened in our experience all over the world.”