Top South Korea soccer team apologies for using sex dolls as spectators

Top South Korea soccer team apologies for using sex dolls as spectators

South Korea

When human bodies are not permitted to fill up the spaces usually occupied by fans in a stadium, what’s the next best solution? For some teams, it’s fashion store mannequins and cardboard cutouts. For one team in South Korea, it was something rather unexpected.

Over the weekend at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul, the national soccer team FC Seoul were playing a match against Gwangju FC, when fans online began noticing the mannequins resembled sex dolls, with some even holding up posters advertising a company that makes sex dolls.

Roughly 20 figures were dispatched across the stadium seats, most of them female looking, with amplified body parts, holding banners and wearing masks. According to the BBC, some dolls were holding signs for ‘X-Rated Websites’.

FC Seoul have since issued an apology, admitting it had failed to run background checks on the suppliers of the dolls. 

“We had tried to add some fun in the no-spectator match,” FC Seoul said in a statement. “But we have not checked all the details, and that is clearly our fault.”

“We had confirmed that although the mannequins were made to look just like real people, they had nothing to do with adult products,” the statement continued. “These mannequins may have been made to look and feel like real humans but they are not for sexual use — as confirmed by the manufacturer from the beginning.” 

The club also denies that the dolls were intended for sexual purposes, and that it had failed to notice the logos on the clothing were associated with sexual products. Reports have confirmed that the suppliers of the dolls are in fact manufacturers of sex dolls.

Fans were not too impressed. One took their incredulity onto Instagram, posting: “The female mannequin dressed in a white short sleeve T-shirt, the breast excessively stood out, and the nipples were protruding, but you didn’t know they were an adult product?”

The match held on Sunday marked the second game of the K League season, the country’s top professional soccer league. The League made global news in early May as one of the first major soccer leagues to resume competition during the pandemic.

The League’s strict regulations forbid inappropriate or sexual advertisements. The team may face hefty fines if they are found guilty. A top K League official spoke to Korean news site OSEN, saying the matter would be investigated.

“It is not easy to say whether this breaks the rules, as it is not a clear violation,” the official said. “We are trying to get a clear interpretation.”

“Fake fans” are not isolated to sports stadiums in South Korea. In Taiwan, fans have virtually consumed matches involving their favourite baseball teams on their screens and phones, watching as players competed among a scattered spread of cardboard cutouts and plastic mannequins where human fans used to occupy. 

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