South Korean football team apologises for filling empty stands with 'sex dolls'

18 May 2020, 10:05

FC Seoul inadvertently used what appeared to be sex dolls to fill empty stands
FC Seoul inadvertently used what appeared to be sex dolls to fill empty stands. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

South Korean football team FC Seoul have apologised for putting "sex dolls" in stands to make their stadium look less empty.

Despite FC Seoul's insistence that the dolls were "premium mannequins", observant fans noticed they more closely resembled sex dolls.

The K-League club, based in the South Korean capital, later admitted they had been ordered inadvertently following a "misunderstanding" with the supplier that also happens to make sex toys.

Some of the models were even holding signs advertising X-rated websites, despite pornography being illegal in the country.

The manufacturer also apologised to FC Seoul and repeated the football team's claim that they were "premium mannequins".

"We would like to apologise to the fans," a club statement read.

"Our intention was to do something light-hearted in these difficult times. We will think hard about what we need to do to ensure that something like this never happens again."

South Korea's professional football league was the first major football league in the world to return to action after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, FC Seoul played their first home game of the season at the Seoul World Cup Stadium where they beat Gwangju FC 1-0.

Some of the mannequins were holding signs advertising X-rated websites
Some of the mannequins were holding signs advertising X-rated websites. Picture: PA

However, fans were unable to attend the match due to restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In a bid to add a touch of realism to the event, a company called Dalcom offered to fill a portion of the empty seats with 30 mannequins, 28 of them female and two of them male.

With the eyes of a football-starved world on the game, fans and viewers noticed that these fan-replacements looked more like sex dolls.

Dalcom said the adverts being held by the mannequins came from a sex toy company who also placed orders with them, who wanted to take pictures of the dolls prior to kick-off.

However, Dalcom director Cho Young-june told the BBC: "They were supposed to take all the logos down before the game started.

"But there were several hairbands and logos left to be caught by the public eye."

An FC Seoul official said the club did not do a background check on Dalcom and had not realised they worked in the sex industry.

Lee Ji-hoon said that although the dolls looked realistic, the fact they could be sex toys had not even registered in his mind.