‘Napoli-Majorca match cancelled’ organisers write to KFA saying it’s “unjust”

Rumours have emerged that a planned friendly match between Napoli (Italy), where Kim Min-jae plays, and Mallorca (Spain), where Lee Kang-in plays, has been cancelled.

According to the Korea Football Association (KFA), on the 26th, the association received a lawsuit in the name of the consortium organisers StadiumX (STX) and Untouchable Sports Group (USG), which promoted the two teams’ visit to Korea, stating that the friendly matches between the two teams were unfairly cancelled and that they should be compensated for the damages caused.

Accordingly, the KFA is preparing for the eventuality of receiving a notice from the court.

On 25 June, the KFA finally informed the consortium that had organised the friendly between the two teams that the match would not be held. The two matches were scheduled to take place on 8 June at the Seoul World Cup Stadium and 10 June at the Goyang Sports Complex.

The matches were set to be highly anticipated by fans as they would be the last time Kim Min-jae and Lee Kang-in would play in their respective clubs’ colours. It was also interesting that Kim Min-jae and Lee Kang-in were going head-to-head.

[Photo] ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

However, on 10 June, the Korean Professional Football Association did not give its consent due to the fact that there were six K League matches (three K League 1 and three K League 2 matches) on the same day. The KFA approves invitational matches for foreign teams, but the federation’s consent is required.

The KFA contacted the consortium on 8 June to see if they would host any of the matches. At the same time, the KFA wanted to check the financial status of the consortium to see if they could afford to host a foreign team in order to avoid an event like Cristiano Ronaldo’s no-show.

[Photo] ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

To this end, the KFA asked the consortium to deposit 2.4스포츠토토 billion won by the morning of the 25th, or provide a deposit of 800 million won and a monetary bond trust agreement. The consortium later requested an escrow account and then expressed its intention to deposit the money in a lump sum, but in the end, the promise was not fulfilled.

In response, the consortium argued, “Anything other than a lump sum deposit of 2.4 billion won would require a few days’ time. In the end, the association is not interested in approving the event that the organisers have been preparing for a long time, but only wants to prevent the event from taking place.”

“From the organisers’ point of view, the amount of money is large, so we need to have specific discussions, such as how to deal with the interest accrued during the deposit period. However, the federation asked us to deposit billions of won in one and a half days. This is unreasonable self-righteousness on the part of the organisers and can be seen as manipulation.”

[Photo] ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

In the end, the consortium failed to meet the conditions set by the KFA, and the KFA decided and notified the consortium that both the Napoli and Mallorca matches would be cancelled. The consortium is now seeking a court ruling on the unfairness of the decision.

The decision will put a lot of pressure on the consortium, which has scheduled three pre-season matches in late July with Hwang Hee-chan’s Wolverhampton (England), Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma (Italy) and Oh Hyun-gyu’s Celtic.

Wolverhampton and Celtic will meet at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on 26 July, Wolverhampton and AS Roma at the Incheon Asiad Stadium on 29 July and Roma and Incheon United at the Incheon Asiad Stadium on 1 August.

The KFA’s decision will inevitably have an adverse impact on the partnerships and sponsorships that have been secured for the Napoli and Mallorca friendlies. The consortium said: “The KFA’s decision will have a significant impact. We have staff in Korea as well as overseas, and some investments are scheduled to be received, but disruptions are inevitable.”

[Photo] ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

For now, the KFA has decided to keep the Wolverhampton and AS Roma visits separate from the Napoli-Majorca match. This means that if the consortium fulfils the requirements for match authorisation, it will be reviewed.

A spokesperson for the current consortium told OSEN: “For the 8 June game, there is still room for negotiation. We are open to dialogue with the federation.” However, if the consortium goes to court, it is doubtful that the two sides will be able to meet and come to an agreement.

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