FC Seoul faces sanctions after putting sex dolls in seats

In this May 17, 2020 photo, Cheering mannequins are installed at the empty spectators’ seats before the start of soccer match between FC Seoul and Gwangju FC at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea. (Ryu Young-suk/Yonhap via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean soccer club is facing penalties, including expulsion from its own stadium, for putting sex dolls in empty seats during a match last weekend.

The K-League is one of the few soccer leagues operating during the coronavirus pandemic, with games being played in empty stadiums.

FC Seoul’s attempts to increase the atmosphere at Seoul World Cup Stadium backfired despite its 1-0 win over Gwangju on Sunday. The club expressed its “sincere remorse” as public backlash intensified, but said it was assured by a supplier that it was using mannequins — not sex dolls — to mimic a home crowd.

About 25 mannequins were supplied by a local company and dressed in FC Seoul colors and wearing masks. The Yonhap news agency reported that fans posted suspicions about the life-size dolls on social media during the match and one banner showed the names of an adult toy manufacturer and of models who had inspired those dolls.

Such advertising is in breach of the competition’s rules, and K-League officials have referred the matter to a disciplinary committee.

If found guilty, FC Seoul could be fined about $4,000 or have points deducted. The club could also be punished for damaging the prestige of the league at a time when it had been basking in unprecedented international attention.

On May 8, the K-League became the first major soccer league to start playing after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered sports around the world. The opening game attracted 19 million viewers worldwide.

There could be worse to follow for FC

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De La Hoya bares threats from Mexican cartel ahead of 1996 Chavez bout

WBC Super Lightweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez (L), from Mexico, reels from a left by challenger Oscar de la Hoya from the U.S. in the 4th round at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. De la Hoya defeated Chavez to claim the title with a fourth round TKO. AFP PHOTO John GURZINSKI/mn (Photo by JOHN GURZINSKI / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Oscar De La Hoya had beaten fellow boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez twice—the first in 1996 then the rematch two years later.

Both of their bouts were for the WBC and lineal titles, but De La Hoya revealed his first encounter with Chavez had a lot more on the line for him.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, De La Hoya bared he was threatened by the Mexican cartel ahead of his 1996 fight with Chavez.

“The cartels went to my camp, for Julio César Chávez, due to his importance.. they went to Big Bear (California) and threatened me, that if I won, who knows what would have happened.. imagine the pressure, it was just crazy,” said De La Hoya as posted on boxingscene.com.

And it wasn’t just the cartel that De La Hoya had to deal with during that time.

“The government of Mexico threatened me that if I wore a patch with the Mexican flag on my trunks, which I was used to wearing… the flag of Mexico and the United States, they would never let me in [the country] again. I even have the letter, signed by President (Ernesto) Zedillo,” said the Mexican-American De La Hoya, who won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the US national team in 1992.

But not even that could stop De La Hoya from stopping Chavez, widely regarded as the greatest Mexican fighter ever, in just four rounds.

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Rugby game derailed career but Tokyo delay gives Wayde van Niekerk chance to defend 400m title

When Wayde van Niekerk stormed over the finish line to clinch gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics, he firmly established himself as an icon of world athletics.

Breaking Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old 400m world record sparked a majestic reaction across the globe. A star was born.

It was one of the stand-out performances from the Rio Games, prompting many to believe the South African would be athletics’ next poster boy. The man to replace Usain Bolt at the pinnacle of the sport.

“Van Niekerk is so young, what else can he do? Can he go under 43 seconds? It is something I thought I could do, but never did,” said Johnson after van Niekerk’s towering display. “Usain Bolt will be retiring soon, this could be the next star.”

He was plastered across the sports pages. Every brand wanted to work with him. Every newspaper requested an interview. Through all the exposure, he stayed modest, stayed driven.

All he was focused on was to achieve more success on the track, to keep bettering himself.

The following year the Cape Town man blazed home to secure world championship glory in London. Bolt retired that month. Van Niekerk was the new heir apparent.

But just when things started to improve, his career quickly derailed.

He tore his anterior cruciate knee ligament (ACL) in a charity touch rugby match in Cape Town in late 2017. He didn’t realise the severity of the injury until a few days later. A long road to recovery lay ahead.

There have been many dark days during that rehabilitation process, however, that resilience and drive to be atop the podium again have fuelled his ambition. Doubt is part of being an athlete. Being critical creates questions, allowing you to unlock your vast potential.

Nearly three years on from his knee

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