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South Korean football club fined $130,000 over sex dolls scandal

A South Korean football club has copped a six-figure fine for putting sex dolls in empty seats during a match last weekend.

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FC Seoul apologised for their actions, saying they didn't realise the dolls were adult toys. Source: Breakfast

FC Seoul have been handed a NZ$130,000 fine for the scandal where they used the adult toys in an attempt to simulate spectators in the stands of their empty stadium.

The club expressed its "sincere remorse" as public backlash intensified but initially said it believed it was using regular mannequins — not "adult products" — to mimic a home crowd.

About 25 mannequins, supplied by a local company and dressed in FC Seoul colours, were quickly identified as sex dolls by logos that seemingly referenced the name of an adult toy manufacturer.

Cheering mannequins were installed at the empty spectators' seats before the start of a soccer match between FC Seoul and Gwangju FC at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea. Source: Associated Press

Such advertising is in breach of the competition's rules, and K-League officials referred the matter to a disciplinary committee who quickly imposed the large fine.

"The disciplinary committee decided to take heavy disciplinary action considering the graveness of the incident, caused by the 'real doll', that has greatly insulted and hurt female and family fans and to prevent similar incidents going forward," K League said in a statement this morning.

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

“We apologize deeply to all those concerned about the unfortunate situation that occurred,” the club said. “We will review our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again.”

The one positive that came out of the experience for FC Seoul was a 1-0 win over Gwangju on Sunday.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report